Puce Moment

USA 1949. Dir Kenneth Anger.

Puce Moment is a fragment filmed in 1949 and later edited by Anger himself into a stand-alone piece. It was initially conceived as feature-length film Puce Women, and was to be Anger’s tribute to the mythological Hollywood of the Jazz Age and the perversely luxurious tastes and lifestyles of female sirens such as Mae Murray, Barbara La Marr, Marion Davies and Gloria Swanson (some of which are described in his exposé Hollywood Babylon). Referring to the purple-green iridescent colour of 1920s flapper gowns, Anger’s mood sketch evokes the archetypal moment of a film star’s dressing up. It is a dizzying parade of vintage gowns: their beading, sequins and embroidery shimmer aggressively in front of the camera, taking up entire film frames. These near-abstract images are juxtaposed with close-ups of Yvonne Marquis referencing classic Hollywood glamour.

Museum of the Moving Image, New York Saturday 24 Mar 2007, 4:30 p.m.