The godfather of music videos takes one more virtuosic turn

Kenneth Anger is the most important experimental filmmaker alive—and yet he hasn’t made a significant film in 30 years. Best known for his influential and visually luxurious 16mm experimental films of the ’60s and ’70s, he is often credited with having invented the modern music video with his pop-song-driven Scorpio Rising. His films are stunningly beautiful, completely hypnotic, slightly dangerous, and percolating with implied sexuality. A one-man film studio, he directed, shot, and cut all of his own films; each one’s like a jewel set in Kodachrome.

Now, as if rising from the dead, he’s made a new short film—a commissioned ad for an Italian clothing designer. Missoni F/W 10–11 picks up exactly where Anger left off stylistically, but in a medium (HD video) that lets the director reinvent a few favorite techniques. Old fans will recognize the ritualistic, hallucinatory orgy of images (the ad looks like a big-budget version of Anger’s masterpiece, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome). New ones will be happy to see that Anger’s early films are still in print, and available for purchase.

Jeff Scher is an experimental filmmaker whose films regularly appear on his New York Times Opinionator blog.

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