1954 / 38m - USA
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome poster


August 12, 2020


This is one of the better Anger films I've seen so far. He's no doubt an interesting director, with a strong, audiovisual focus, but not always very clean and polished, sometimes crossing into the realm of cheese. While Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome doesn't fully escape this pitfall, there are some moments where the film truly shines.

There are several versions of the film (with different soundtracks), but for home viewing the original version isn't ideal, since it needs to be projected onto three separate screens. Later Anger reedited his film by overlapping the footage, which creates a pretty magical effect and no doubt added a lot to the film's appeal.

Based on the poem "Kubla Khan", the plot itself didn't make too much sense to me. Then again, the poem was said to be written after an opium-influenced dream, so I don't think it matters that much. The mix of extremely strange and colorful imagery and heroic opera music makes for an interesting film, at least if you like that kind of thing. Quite interesting.