Scorpio Rising

Scorpio Rising ★★★★

Perhaps Hollywood’s first bad boy, as a practising occultist, Anger understood the alchemical power of the symbolic and his films often appear as psychotropic visual mantras, especially Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954). From the glamorization and sexual affirmation of the masculine in Fireworks (1947) and Rabbit Moon’s (1950) dance of the unrequited to the classicist Eaux d’Artifice (1953), in which spuming phalluses engulf a damsel in distress, and the then fashionable esoterica of Lucifer Rising (1972), Cocteau’s magicks are channelled as progenitors to Lynch’s whimsy and Waters’ trash memorials. My personal favourite is Scorpio Rising (1963) for its delirious pop-messianic iconography; a film by men, for men, about men. Anger performed the duty of any good filmmaker and served up fresh, flamboyant imagery to a world not ready.

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