Puce Moment (1949)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Long before Kenneth Anger's book Hollywood Babylon appeared in France in 1963, Anger had worked on a film script about the glamour, decadence, and decline of Hollywood entitled "Puce Women." Only the first part of it, six-and-a-half-minutes' worth, were actually filmed. The film opens with the camera soaring through an extraordinary array of costumes, finally coming to rest in the lair of a Hollywood starlet who knows how to wear them (played by one of Anger's cousins, Yvonne Marquis). The camera focuses lovingly on the apparel, how it is worn, put on, and taken off; an early manifestation of an Anger trademark would find further development in films such as Scorpio Rising. For many years Puce Moment was shown with the Overture to Verdi's opera I Villi, but in 1966 Anger added a newly made soundtrack consisting of an intriguing folk-rock score by the otherwise unknown Jonathan Halper.