Homo-Occultist auteur Kenneth Anger has always had a lifelong admiration for The Great Beast Aleister Crowley. As a matter of fact, Anger is also a follower of Crowley's Thelema - a religion which would play a major influence on the independent filmmaker's cinema-magick experiments. Anger's stunningly colorful and ambitious work Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1953) includes a variety of Crowleyite and Thelemite inspired themes and also features the mysterious Scarlet Woman Marjorie Cameron (whom would later live with Anger for a small period of time) - the widow of NASA rocket scientist Thelemite Jack Parsons (whom accidentally blew himself up in his home laboratory) on the eve. In 1955, Kenneth Anger traveled to Sicily, Italy (with his fellow hedonistic friend Alfred Kinsey) so that he could direct a documentary on the Abbey of Thelema - a small house that Aleister Crowley used as a Temple for his religion in 1920 during one of his various self-imposed exiles. Italian II Duce Benito Mussolini would later have Aleister Crowley thrown out of fascist Italy and subsequently the religious murals created by the English Occultist were painted over by locals. Although Kenneth Anger would later restore the murals for his documentary Thelema Abbey (1955), unfortunately, a British television channel lost the film. Kenneth Anger's most ambitious Thelema themed film is undoubtedly Lucifer Rising - an extraordinary esoteric work that would take over a decade to make, but was certainly worth the long wait as it is arguably the American auteur filmmaker's cinematic magnum opus. Lucifer Rising - which was shot in Germany and at various ancient Egyptian temples - is a symbolic interpretation of Aeon of Horus - a new period in human history prophesied by Aleister Crowley in his Thelemic unholy holy book, The Book of Law. Apparently, at the dawn of the Aeon of Horus - which began in 1904 - humans would become devoted solely to individual liberty, following Crowley's law "Do What Thou Wilt." Despite being a nonbeliever with little interest in the Thelemite self-gratifying faith, I think it is obvious to most people that self-worship is indubitably a virtue of the modern Occidental world, thus coincidentally fulfilling Crowley's prophecy.
Aleister Crowley on the cover of
The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's album