Synopsis by David Lewis
Escape Episode was a wholly atypical project for filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and yet it was the most well-received of his early films. Based on the myth of Andromeda, a girl is held captive in a decaying mausoleum located by the seaside by a "religious fanatic dragon" (according to Anger). The girl secretly carries on a romance with a "beach-boy" who struggles to rescue her from her plight -- but in the end the girl manages to escape on her own. This Anger-directed heterosexual romance was shown widely in California at independent film screenings in the 1940s, garnering praise and winning numerous awards. Escape Episode was even screened by Hollywood studio heads in order to evaluate the 17-year-old Anger's promise as a filmmaker. In 1946, Anger revisited the title, trimming it to 27 minutes, adding music by Scriabin ("The Poem of Ecstacy") and some "non-realistic" surf and seagull calls to heighten the drama of this stylized seaside yarn. Although it was circulated on 16 mm through 1967, Anger then withdrew Escape Episode. It is possible that the film no longer exists, but it may be among a few extant titles that Anger has stated he prefers not to show. Of all the "lost," pre-Fireworks titles that Kenneth Anger made, Escape Episode is believed to have been the Anger film that was the most interesting, relevant, and vital in terms of his future output.