Lucifer Rising Movie Review (1970-81)
Kenneth Anger projects his own persona into his films in order to arrive at a more universal appeal. The film itself is often the vehicle for this metamorphosis. This effect is quite prominent in Lucifer Rising. An elaborate display of images coupled with complex editing techniques attempt to evoke an altered state in the viewer. The symbology is heavily influenced by occult master, Aleister Crowley.
The film enacts the re-birth of Lucifer, god of beauty and light, and is dually a rebirth of certain ideas from Roman mythology that were changed and replaced by the Christians. ‘Lucifer’ originally meant, “I bring the light.” Filmed in Iceland, Egypt, Germany, and London, the film is actually the second incarnation of itself. The first was said to have been stolen in 1966.
The score was written and recorded in prison by Bobby Beausoleil. Beausoleil had been (and remains) incarcerated for a murder ordered by Charles Manson. The original soundtrack was supposed to be composed by Jimmy Page, but was never completed to Anger’s satisfaction.
Aside from contemporaries Alejandro Jodorowski and Matthew Barney, precious few recognized filmmakers attempt to escape the chokehold of the rational world - which is, by matter of speaking, only a perspective. These artists prove that in not-so-distant alternate universes, infinite possibilities exist and thrive still.
Following Vol. I, The Films of Kenneth Anger Vol. II put out by Fantoma in 2007, include Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos, Invocation of My Demon Brother, Rabbit’s Moon, Lucifer Rising, and The Man We Want to Hang. The booklet that accompanies the release includes essays by Martin Scorsese, Guy Maddin, Gus Van Sant, and Bobby Beausoleil.
- Story B+
- Acting B
- Visuals A-
- Originality/Innovation B+
- Enjoyability B+
- Overall B+