25 May 2007


London ICA
25 May - 7 June 2007

An essential part of The Times BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta is the place to discover innovative and challenging cinema. The 2007 edition of the annual Experimenta Tour presents some of the highlights from last year’s programme.

The Festival’s 50th anniversary was an appropriate moment to celebrate the work of Kenneth Anger, one of the most distinctive artists of film history. For the touring programme, Anger’s recent video Mouse Heaven joins four of his classic films in “Cinema as Magick Weapon,” a selection spanning six decades of uncompromising creativity. In the documentary portrait Anger Me, the filmmaker tells his own story and enhances his already legendary mythology.

Wild Tigers I Have Known, the first feature by Cam Archer, has a theme of adolescent longing reminiscent of Anger’s debut. This highly stylised film charts the coming of age of a young gay teenager in a haze of dreamy visuals and atmospheric music.

“Travelling Light” is a programme of 16mm films in which three artists respond to diverse locations: Nick Collins documents a lush valley in the South of France, Ben Rivers ventures to the Scottish Highlands, and Bill Brown’s illuminating essay film traces the border between the USA and Mexico, a landscape is infused with political tension.

Wild Tigers I Have Known (Cam Archer, 2005)

Friday 25 May 2007, 8:45pm / Saturday 26 May 2007, 8:45pm
/ Sunday 27 May 2007, 6:45pm / Monday 28 May 2007, 8:45pm
/ Friday 1 - Monday 4 June 2007, 4:30pm


Cam Archer, USA, 2005, 35mm, colour, sound, 81 minutes

Those lucky enough to see Cam Archer’s short films, including the irresistible bobbycrush, will have already caught a glimpse of his ability to capture the moody world of adolescence and in particular the twin pleasure and pain of the teenage crush. With Wild Tigers I Have Known he develops and hones both this theme and his own inventive visual style into a captivating and provocative first feature. Protagonist Logan is 13 years old, and a dreamer. Soft spoken and isolated, he has a crush on an older and infinitely cooler boy, Rodeo Walker. His infatuation is fuelled by the fact that Rodeo is one of the few people who doesn’t go out of his way to make Logan’s life miserable. As a mismatched friendship develops, Logan is inspired to create a new persona, the seductive Leah … It’s not overstating the case to say that Archer redraws the American avant-garde with his poetic and sexy study of burgeoning sexuality and youthful woes. With its daydreamy look and its little stabs of recognition, this is a must for anyone who ever felt the pang of loneliness or longing, teenaged or not.

Anger Me (Elio Gelmini, 2006)

Saturday 26 May 2007, 2:45pm / Tuesday 29 May 2007, 8:45pm
/ Sunday 3 June 2007, 3:00pm / Thursday 7 June 2007, 6:45pm


Elio Gelmini, Canada, 2006, Beta SP, colour, sound, 72 minutes

A portrait of Kenneth Anger, legendary pioneer of independent filmmaking. Raised in Hollywood, a spell as the Changeling Prince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935) provided his first taste of the fantasy world of the movies. The nine films Anger made between 1947 and 1980 are shown together as the ‘Magick Lantern Cycle’, emphasising his belief in cinema as magical weapon. An authority on Aleister Crowley, his dazzling montage invokes myth and ritual, exploring taboo subjects and popular culture with a complex iconography. From the homoerotic fantasy Fireworks to the transcendental Lucifer Rising, his influence reaches beyond the avant-garde and into the mainstream, touching the work of Jarman, Lynch, Scorsese and countless others. Anger’s fascination with film history, memorabilia and scandal eventually led to the bestseller Hollywood Babylon, a dark exposé of Tinseltown’s seamy side. He inadvertently invented the music video with Scorpio Rising, and his acquaintances ranged from Anaïs Nin and Alfred Kinsey to the Rolling Stones. Anger Me takes the form of an extended monologue, in which this visionary artist talks at length about his extraordinary life and remarkable body of work.

Kenneth Anger logo

Sunday 27 May 2007, 1:30pm / Thursday 31 May 2007, 3:45pm
/ Sunday 3 June 2007, 4:45pm / Wednesday 6 June 2007, 6:45pm


“Kenneth Anger is a unique filmmaker, an artist of exceptional talent.” (Martin Scorsese)

Kenneth Anger, USA, 1947, 16mm, b/w, sound, 15 minutes
"In Fireworks I released all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. A dissatisfied dreamer awakes, goes out in the night seeking a ‘light’ and is drawn through the needle’s eye. A dream of a dream, he returns to a bed less empty than before." (Kenneth Anger)

Kenneth Anger, USA-France, 1950-79, 16mm, colour, sound, 7 minutes
"A fable of the unattainable (the Moon) combining elements of Commedia dell’Arte with Japanese myth. A lunar dream utilizing the classic pantomime figure of Pierrot in an encounter with a prankish, enchanted Magick Lantern." (K.A.)

Kenneth Anger, USA, 1963, 16mm, colour, sound, 29 minutes
Anger’s critique of the danger cult motorcycle gangs burst out of the underground into the wider consciousness. Immensely influential for its ironic use of pop music, it draws parallels with Christian and Nazi imagery to invoke Scorpio, the sign that rules machines, sex and death.

Kenneth Anger, USA, 1965, 16mm, colour, sound, 4 minutes
A slow and sensuous fragment that encapsulates the hot-rod craze. "To the soundtrack of ‘Dream Lover’ a young man strokes his customized car with a powder puff." (K.A.)

Kenneth Anger, USA, 2005, Beta SP, colour, sound, 10 minutes
A lively romp through the world’s largest collection of antique Mickey Mouse memorabilia. In signature style, it’s assembled as a series of vignettes to different musical tracks, ranging from The Boswell Sisters to – rather bizarrely – the Proclaimers ! Puckish fun from the maestro.

This Is My Land (Ben Rivers, 2006)

Sunday 27 May 2007, 3:15pm / Saturday 2 June 2007, 4:45pm
/ Tuesday 5 June 2007, 6:45pm

Three artists respond to landscape and environment.

Nick Collins, UK, 2006, 16mm, colour, sound, 20 minutes
Across The Valley is a beautifully photographed response to the landscape and environment of the Cévennes Mountains in Southern France. Employing time-lapse and other techniques, the film records variations in the distant and immediate surroundings over a range of seasons.

Ben Rivers, UK, 2006, 16mm, b/w, sound, 14 minutes
A folk film for the new millennium, This Is My Land is a portrait of Jake Williams, who lives a hermetic lifestyle in a remote house in the woods of Aberdeenshire. Through sunshine and snowfall, Jake tends his garden, practicing a humble, self-sufficiency that has parallels with the hand-made nature of the film.

Bill Brown, USA, 2006, 16mm, colour, sound, 41 minutes
In this rich and revealing essay film, Brown shares his experiences of travelling from Texas to California, recounting a history of the landscape, its inhabitants and those that pass through. The border between Mexico and the USA is crossed by thousands of undocumented persons each year, and hundreds do not survive the journey through the desert to the other side. Incorporating a personal voiceover and interviews with migrant activists, The Other Side is a visually striking work that examines the border as a site of aspiration and insecurity.


12 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross / Piccadilly

Tickets: £8 / £7 concessions / £6 members
Box Office: 020 7930 3647




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