Apr 14, 2011

My Surfing Lucifer

Being a loyal patron of Occult Auteur Kenneth Anger's Faustian cinematic visions; I feel the need to cover the filmmaker's lesser known works. In 2009, Kenneth Anger released My Surfing Lucifer - a short tribute to his millionaire German-American surfer pal Adolph Bunker Spreckels III - a true "prince of Bel Air" that the independent film director described as “Surfing’s divine prince of decadence."  On top of being a surfing legend, Adolph Spreckels was also the stepson of legendary Hollywood actor Clark Gable. In My Surfing Lucifer, supreme libertine surfer Spreckels carves oceanic waves in a fluid laid-back manner that compliments his luxurious, yet consequently tragic life. Of course, despite his monetary prosperity, Spreckels is prone to flesh splitting wipe-outs as shown at the end of the short.  Despite inheriting fifty million dollars at age 21, Herr Spreckels' life was ultimately cut short, thus in tribute Mr. Anger has created this micro-epic-bio-pic-surfing-Tour-de-force My Surfing Lucifer with 8mm "found footage." After too much sex, drugs, and rock & roll; Spreckels passed away due to heart failure at the premature age of 27, but enough with the sad talk. As one can expect from the cinematic works of Kenneth Anger; My Surfing Lucifer is equipped with a complimentary soundtrack featuring the song "Good Vibrations" by the pseudo-surfer pop group The Beach Boys. Kenneth Anger has a distant connection to The Beach Boys through his longtime collaborator Bobby Beausoleil. Like Beausoleil, Dennis Wilson (the drummer of The Beach Boys) was at one point an associate of The Manson Family. Of course, everyone knows: Charlie don't surf.  It is doubtful that Dennis Wilson would have made for a decent surfer, as his life wiped-out in a drunken drowning accident. Like Charles Manson, Kenneth Anger has always displayed a certain disgust with Hollywood types; albeit in a less murderous fashion.

LA-based sneaker store UNDFTD collaborated with Kenneth Anger to spotlight the original 2009 premiere of his film tribute to Bunker Spreckels: My Surfing Lucifer.

When compared to Kenneth Anger's earlier more laborious efforts, My Surfing Lucifer doesn't seem like much, yet it has a serene atmosphere that gives one "good vibrations."  Additionally, the short is a labor-of-love, concocted by Anger using mere vintage "found footage." Personally, now that I live on the beach, my appreciation for the organic, chaotic nature of waves has reached its peak. I spent many years sidewalk surfing (skateboarding), yet I have never had the opportunity to carve a wave - which is certainly something my body now craves. Most of the surfers I have personally known were beach-tanned-dead-head Aryans - whose eclectic and all-encompassing ignorance - I never could stand. As a hero of Kenneth Anger, I would hope that Herr Adolf Bunker Spreckels III intellectual capacity was a bit grander than the everyday beach bum surfer, but it is most likely that the Crowleyite auteur admired the surfing legend for his uncompromising decadence (combined with his daredevil surfing), and that alone. Although I am no expert on surfing - Lucifer Spreckels seems to be able to ride a hellish wave - even if he ends his surf session slightly scathed. In My Surfing Lucifer, the rich devil has already risen and is engaged in a joyous battle against mother nature's celestial oceanic crest; certainly a spectacular, yet momentary vision from the diabolical auteur Mr. Anger. For those viewers that found themselves reveling in the bestial flames of Lucifer Rising, you will certainly find yourself momentarily basking in the luxuriating waves of My Surfing Lucifer.

Note: A feature-length film on the life of Bunker Spreckels is also in the works.

-Ty E

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