Sunday, July 20, 2008

Exotica - Kenneth Anger

From the 1999 book 'Exotica. Fabricated soundscapes in a real world' by David Toop:

"At the beginning of the sixties, Brian Wilson was writing ecstatically romantic songs in celebration of heterosexual desire and homosexual gang displays. 'We''l get the roughest and the toughest initiation we can find', written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for 'Our Car Club', might be lines sung in Kenneth Anger's Kustom Kar Kommandos. This unfinished short film was described by Anger as 'an oneiric vision of contemporary American (and specifically Californian) teenage phenomenon, the world of the hot rod and the customised car'.

In fact, Anger used 'Dream Lover' by the Paris Sisters. He envisaged the cars as 'an eye-magnet of nacreous color and gleaming curvi-linear surfaces' while the customers would be presented as 'shadowy, mysterious personages (priests or witch doctors)'. In his biography of Anger, Bill Landis quotes from an interview with Spider magazine. 'The cars,' said Anger, 'particularly the drag races - what they call the rail jobs - are not only obviously power symbols, terribly phallic and all this, but they're also an involvement in a controlled ideal, in a controlled death-tempting ritual.' In a camp musical, we can imagine the Rommel-inspired attack batallions of Charles Manson and the Family singing 'Our Car Club' lyrics in chorus, like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, as they hurtle over the dirt fire roads of the helter-skelter escape route, heading for Death Valley in their customised dune-buggies, Manson firing Crowleyan magic at pursuing helicopters."

Kustom Kar Kommandos - 1965

Scorpio Rising - 1964

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