Yuletide Traditions: “Scorpio Rising” (Kenneth Anger, 1964)

Scorpio Rising is arguably Kenneth Anger’s masterpiece (closely tied with Hollywood Babylon, closely tied with Lucifer Rising, depending on who you’re talking to). A brilliant, gorgeous long music video which features real footage of several twentysomething bikers in and out of their biking gear, hanging out in their apartments, partying with other members of their clubs and, in one particularly memorable scene, wiping out.

The music he used for the soundtrack is the music of my childhood — which is, naturally, at least one generation too old — and it’s used both ironically and absolutely straight in conjunction with the footage (bikers putting on their gear to the tune of Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet,” “Point of No Return” playing over the footage of a race that ends when one of the participants wipes out and skids out of frame). After years of scouring the internet for a copy, I was finally able to watch it on Christmas Day 2009, when some generous person uploaded a digital transfer of their VHS copy to Google Videos.

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~ by blackmoodcraft on December 10, 2013.

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