Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome

USA 1954/1966. Dir Kenneth Anger.

With Samson De Brier, Marjorie Cameron, Joan Whitney, Anaïs Nin. Costumes and sets by Kenneth Anger, Samson de Brier, and actors.

Anger’s Inauguration is a hedonistic costume extravaganza through and through. The idea for the film was born at a masquerade party Anger attended in 1953. Held at painter Renate Druk’s home, the soiree brought together a coterie of avant-garde actors, directors and poets (many of whom star in the film), all exquisitely costumed for the occasion.  According to the writer Anais Nin, Anger himself came dressed “as Hectate, goddess of the moon, earth and infernal regions, sorcery and witchcraft. Only one heavily made-up eye was visible. His long black fingernails were made of black quills. The rest was all a towering figure of lace, veils, beads and feathers.” Anger transformed this experience into a hallucinatory cinematic vision, a ritual that is both enigmatic and idiosyncratic.