leonard bernstein

leonard bernstein

Kenneth Anger : Eaux d'artifice (1953) Music by Leonard Bernstein. Experimental Film.

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Eaux d'artifice (1953) is a short experimental film by Kenneth Anger. The film was shot in the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, Italy. The film consists entirely of a woman dressed in eighteenth-century clothes who wanders amidst the garden fountains of the Villa d'Este ("a Hide and Seek in a night-time labyrinth"), until she steps into a fountain and momentarily disappears. The actress, Carmilla Salvatorelli (not "Carmello"), was "a little midget" Anger had met through Federico Fellini.Anger used a short actress to suggest a different sense of scale, whereby the monuments seemed bigger (a technique he said was inspired by etchings of the gardens in the Villa d'Este by Giovanni Battista Piranesi). The title, a play on words, is meant to suggest Feux d'artifice (Fireworks), in obvious reference to Anger's earlier 1947 work. Film critic Scott MacDonald has suggested that Fireworks was a film about the repression of (the filmmaker's) gay sexuality in the United States, whereas Eaux d'Artifice "suggests an explosion of pleasure and freedom." In 1993, this short film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".