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MGLFF Review: Anger Me

How best describe to experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger? Let's leave that to the man himself. In this rose-tinted career recapper by Elio Gelmini, Anger declares himself a maverick, a pioneer, an idealist, a romantic. Just don't call him a cynic. Or a conformist. Fair enough. The Fireworks dealer also recalls matter-of-factly how he went from the black sheep of his conservative California family to one of the first openly gay directors, with an education in avant-garde filmmaking courtesy of Paris's famed Cinémathque Française. Even now Anger's challenging, post-modern style and touchy subjects — which include sadomasochism and the occult — certainly aren't for mainstream consumption. But there's no denying Anger broke many taboos in his day, and that while he enjoys "maximum freedom and minimum restriction" working outside of Hollywood, he does like dishing the dirt with his Hollywood Babylon series of tell-all books. He continues to direct — his last short was Anger Me Red in 2004. He's now 80 years old, though, and seemingly ready to move on. "If the next big adventure is death, fine, it's something new," the self-admitted pagan says. If only he could take his camera with him.


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