Experimental filmmaker and artist Kenneth Anger has died at age 96.
According to Variety, his gallerySprueth Magers, operated by Monika Spruth and Philomene Magersconfirmed the news on their website, writing, "Kenneth was a trailblazer. His cinematic genius and influence will live on and continue to transform all those who encounter his films, words and vision."
Anger's films include the classic Fireworks (1947), featuring Anger himself, which the young filmmaker shot in his parents' Beverly Hills home while they were away for the weekend; Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), which featured among its cast writer Anais Nin and was ultimately exhibited at the 1958 Brussels World Fair; and Scorpio Rising (1965), a homoerotic meditation on masculinity, motorcycle- and leather-cultures, Christianity, Naziism and pop music that was perhaps Anger's most influential film.
In 1959, Anger also wrote and published Hollywood Babylona book that popularized scandals and pieces of film-land gossip that, while largely discredited over the years, have remained part of Hollywood lore. (He also published Hollywood Babylon II and III, in addition to other books.)
According to IndieWire, Anger certainly had his dark moments. One involved consorting with the musician Bobby Beausoleil, who fatally stabbed to death an enemy Charles Manson designated. (During a subsequent prison term, Beausoleil continued to work with Anger on soundtracks.)
However, Anger's style influenced many filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese. Critic Dave Kehr once said of Anger, "The missing link between Caravaggio and Bruce Weber, Mr. Anger continues to astound and delight with imagery so luxuriant and mysterious that, at times, it feels almost frightening."
The last film Anger directed was the 2013 short Airships.