Fireworks (Kenneth Anger – USA,1947)


kenneth-anger-2flowFIREWORKS was first publicly screened in a version with no opening titles. A title sequence and narrated prologue were later added. In 1966 Anger exibited a version with hand-painting, the only copy of which was subsequently lost in a fire. A later version featured a new title sequence and was printed with a blue cast.artwork_images_424045384_514180_kenneth-anger fireworks-kenneth-anger-8247835-450-338
UCLA has preserved the first two release versions in 35mm from surviving early 16mm prints, and is preserving the final version in 16mm from the reconstructed 16mm color and black-and-white A/B rolls.
This print is the version containing Anger’s prologue.

UCLA Restoration completed 2006.

10963013_detFireworks (1947) is a homoerotic experimental film by Kenneth Anger. Filmed in his parents’ home in Beverly Hills, California over a long weekend while they were away, the film stars Anger and explicitly explores themes of homosexuality and sado-masochism. It is the earliest of his works to survive.

Anger synopsizes the film thus: „A dissatisfied dreamer awakes, goes out in the night seeking a `light’ and is drawn through the needle’s eye. A dream of a dream, he returns to bed less empty than before.” Adding later, „This flick is all I have to say about being seventeen, the United States Navy, American Christmas, and the Fourth of July.

Anger was arrested on obscenity charges following the release of Fireworks. In 1958 a lawsuit was brought against the manager Raymond Rohauer of L.A.’s Coronet Theatre for screening Fireworks.The case became ‘an epic obscenity trial’ in the California Supreme Court which declared the film to be art.

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