Los Angeles, CA – Kenneth Anger, in 1973 was in production of his magnum opus film Lucifer Rising and began a coloration with Jimmy Page, a fellow Crowley devotee who also happened to be the driving force behind Led Zeppelin.The two artists shared esoteric knowledge and intended the film to be a “magickal working” or ritual. Due to artistic and personal differences, Anger and Page had a falling out and have not spoke since. This rift instigated Anger to unleash a curse that is said to have put in motion a tragic sequence of events that ended of one of the greatest rock bands that ever was, Led Zeppelin.
The history of Lucifer Rising reads like a mythic story of revenge and triumph of the will.
Anger, one of the last of the world’s truly dangerous artists, was known to storm projection booths with knife weilding thugs to personally remove unauthorized screenings of his work. Anger began filming Lucifer Rising, around 1966. A film plagued with tragedy, with a young boy jumping to his death and his original choice to write the score, Bobby Beausoleil, becoming one of Charles Manson’s minions and sentenced to prison for the murder of Gary Hinman. The film production was moved to the UK in 1967 when Beausoleil was accused of stealing the print and the target of a Magickal curse by Anger. Some of the original footage was used in the Anger film, Invocation of My Demon Brother.
Jimmy Page and Kenneth Anger started a working relationship after Anger exorcised a headless ghost from Page’s home – which was a former residence of Crowley. As payment, he agreed to work on the soundtrack of Lucifer Rising. A relationship that was destined, like the previous history of the film, to be wrought with trouble.
After firing Page because of his soundtrack was found unsatisfactory and Page’s unreliability and drug addiction, Anger initiated a vengeful rebuttal. The Magus’ legendary public curse of Jimmy Page seemed eerily timely and instrumental in the rift between Page and Led Zeppelin lead-singer Robert Plant that led to the break-up of what Rolling Stone calls, “one of the most successful bands in Rock & Roll history.” Subsequently, Anger created a different version of the film without Page’s soundtrack, and reconciled with Bobby Beausoleil, who finished the soundtrack in prison.
The Page version of Lucifer Rising was thought to be lost… until now.
Fast-forward to 2014, Los Angeles artist Brian Butler, a long time collaborator with the film magus, rediscovered and restored the original print from Anger’s archives. The film was in a box that was mislabeled and it would have been lost forever. Dubbed, “The Holy Grail of Lost Films” the original Lucifer Rising print includes footage that has never before been seen by any audience. Like a rite of spring or a Tsunami, this force majure will screen for the first time in the historic former United Artists theatre in The Ace Hotel in an equally restored, and vital, Downtown LA.
Kenneth Anger will present the restored version of Lucifer Rising this Thursday April 17. Lucifer Rising in it’s full version, with additional unseen footage, is sure to shake up the cosmology of the film and music worlds in one triumphant thunderclap of a film event. Not to be missed!
The United Artists Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, Thursday April 17, 2014
Doors Open 7:30; Film starts at 8:30
You can find more info and tickets to the film at here