Here is an interesting match-up … Pioneering esoteric filmmaker Kenneth Anger gets interviewed by pioneering esoteric filmmaker Gaspar Noe in this match-made-in-heaven (hell?) tete-a-tete:
Kenneth Anger, the octogenarian American underground filmmaker, has largely been heralded as one of the founders of experimental film, with his role in inspiring directors such as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. He pioneered queer, cult and psychedelic film without ever imagining himself in a gere, and this year he crossed over into fashion and created a piece (with longtime collaborator Brian Butler) for the Italian fashion house Missoni.
Gaspar Noé, director of the recent film Enter the Void and creator of the controversial film Irreversible, has long been a vocal supporter of Kenneth Anger, telling Interview that Anger was the only person he wanted to see Enter the Void. Noé recently caught up with Anger by phone, while the former was in Paris and the latter in Boston. They discussed the essence of cinema, his experience with alien spacecrafts, and why you should not direct movies under the influence of LSD.—Kristina Benns
NOÉ: Do you remember we met a few years ago? You were in Paris doing a retrospective at the Cinémathèque…
ANGER: I remember, vaguely, but I do so many interviews, they seem to all blend together.
NOÉ: I think the reason why they asked me if I wanted to have a conversation with you is because in other interviews I have talked about you, about how when I think about the best psychedelic movies ever, one of the first things that comes to my mind is Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome.
Do you think you’d be a director today, if you hadn’t been in Max Reinhardt’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935)?
ANGER: Well, It’s a long story. I began making movies at home, with a 16-millimeter camera that belonged to the family. Before that, I worked a little, I did a little part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Director Max Reinhardt was a friend of my grandmother’s, and that’s how that happened.
NOÉ: That movie reminds me of your movie Rabbit’s Moon (1950).
ANGER: I loved the artificial set of the forest at Warner Brothers, this huge set that they made in two connecting soundstages. So that influenced me. But also, I’m influenced by director Georges Méliès, and the simplicity of his magical painted steps, and so forth.
NOÉ: What are your favorite movies directed by other people?
ANGER: Well in the classic French tradition, I love Robert Bresson and I met Georges Franju, and I love his films. And Ann Levy, and of course, Jean Cocteau. And I like some of the films of Marcel Carné very much. I love Arlette Langmann.
Read more at Joe Nolan’s Insomnia.