Fireworks (1947)

Article 2249 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-13-2007
Posting Date: 10-9-2007
Directed by Kenneth Anger
Featuring Kenneth Anger, Bill Seltzer, Gordon Gray

A man dreams that he tries to pick up sailor and then is brutally beaten by a group of them.

Back when I covered Kenneth Anger’s INAUGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME , I was hampered somewhat by the fact that the movie was very hard to find, and that I had little information on hand to help me to sort out the movie. However, the recent release of some of Anger’s early films on DVD (complete with notes and commentary) has helped with appreciating this one a little more. Despite the above plot description, it really isn’t about the story; it’s the recreation of a dream that Anger actually had, most probably inspired by a series of events in 1944 involving the brutalization of Mexicans by gangs of sailors. It’s full of abstract imagery, gay sexuality and brutal and grotesque visions, some of it quite horrific. I know enough about the movie now to admire Anger’s accomplishment, but ultimately with this sort of underground cinema, how much you really enjoy it is dependent on how much it speaks to you personally, and, for me, the movie doesn’t really satisfy much in that regard. The dreamlike quality and the grotesqueness provide the fantastic content.



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