Lucifer Rising (Kenneth Anger / U.S.-United Kingdom-West Germany, 1972):

Lava at dusk, Bobby Beausoleil’s ominous guitar feedback swelling like acid Bartók, these are the foundation for Kenneth Anger's savagery of wit. He makes himself at home in the land of the pharaohs, filming with a magick eye and intimations of Die Nibelungen. Isis (Myriam Gibril) lounges by the hieroglyphs, a Méliès cut introduces Osiris (Donald Cammell) amid the statues, scepters are raised to stormy skies. Baby (Chris Jagger) is roused from his sarcophagus, does his morning slaying and settles into his bathtub to wash off the gore; his victim (Marianne Faithful) awakens with blue skin in the primeval Celtic forest, perhaps the very Lilith Wagner composed about. Pyramids and Stonehenge are fused to herald the Fallen Angel, meanwhile Nature is occupied with cycles of its own (a crocodile slithers out of its egg, a cobra is crushed under an elephant). The jokes are abundant and devastating -- Jagger’s entrance decked in what could be called the Amazing Technicolor Dream Tunic, a crimson triangle reading "Trade Mark" filling the screen, Cammell painted Wicked Witch-green and holding mini-figurines like fingers. Anger as the Magus may spin madly inside a drawn circle, though his grasp of operatic image-forging was never more assured. The camera tilts up from the Goddess of Love to the Sphinx behind her, the spectacle concludes with an appearance by solarized alien plates, on their way to Liquid Sky. "The subject requires no explanation," Aleister Crowley’s words assure the audience. With Jimmy Page as "Man Holding Stèle of Revealing."

--- Fernando F. Croce

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