Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954)

Article #842 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-5-2003
Posting Date: 12-2-2003
Directed by Kenneth Anger
Featuring Marjorie Cameron, Sampson de Brier, Curtis Harrington

Plot description: Huh?

Title check: Ditto.

Basically, this is film as abstract art. I don’t consider this automatically bad, by any means, as I find that on occasion a movie like this can really fascinate me. However, I’m at a loss usually to explain why I like (or don’t like) movies like this, because I usually just let them wash over me, and they either strike a chord or they don’t. Sadly, this one doesn’t. It apparently has something to do with opera (the background music is definitely operatic), and it involves various people in bizarre costumes and makeup against nondescript backgrounds gesturing and posing. I think there are several scenes where jewelry is eaten, and there’s a lot of drinking of some unknown substance in the second half of this short movie. Much of the imagery is vaguely grotesque, pagan and Satanic, and it all feels like some sort of rather sacriligious ritual. I really don’t know much about Kenneth Anger, but Curtis Harrington would go on to direct several horror and science fiction movies later on in life, and Anais Nin is also in the movie somewhere. It seems foolish to write about something like this when you don’t really know what to make of it, but I have no intention of skipping a movie for this series just because I don’t get it. File this one with the question marks.

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