It is an article of faith among your more generous cinephiles that you should never be embarrassed by the classics you haven’t yet seen. Everyone has blind spots, no one has time to see everything, and a gap in your viewing only indicates how much you have to look forward to!More
Un Chant d’Amour is Jean Genet’s only film: a 26-minute, black-and-white, imagistic collage and fantasy of ideas. It’s startlingly beautiful, sensuous, and animated by themes — homosexuality, transgression, dominance, voyeurism — that characterize all of the mercurial artist’s work.
The short is also fairly, and hilariously, summed up by Letterboxd user Tyler, as “Almost definitely the best film ever made about gay men masturbating in prison.”
Frequently banned and famously litigated after an unauthorized attempted showing in Berkeley, CA in 1966, Un Chant d’Amour is arguably remembered now more for its notoriety than its content.More
Like his hero Jean Cocteau, Kenneth Anger is a mercurial and scandalous figure in 20th century art. An Aleister Crowley-influenced occultist, associate of counter-culture figures ranging from Mick Jagger to Charles Manson acolyte and convicted murderer Bobby Beausoleil, and author of the notorious Hollywood Babylon, a profoundly dubious book of gossip which The New York Times famously proclaimed to be “without one single redeeming merit,” Anger’s notoriety often threatens to overshadow his artistic output as an avant-garde filmmaker.More
Part of an ongoing effort to watch a set of films from non-White, non-U.S., non-male, and/or non-straight filmmakers and depart a little from the Western canon. The intro and full list can be found here.
Jean Cocteau rejected the label “Surrealist.” Contrary to notions of fundamentally unknowable art, born of dream and mining allusion, he began 1932’s Blood of a Poet with a title card that reads almost like a battle cry:
Every poem is a coat of arms.