Although I thought Kenneth Anger had given up on creating the kind of extravagant and boldly colorful surrealist works that were typical of his past films for more minimalistic and less labor extensive works, he has thankfully astonished me with his 2 ½ minute short Missoni (2010). Aesthetically, the short echoes back to the dreamy decor featured in Anger's Puce Moment (1949) and the psychedelic kaleidoscope of colors prominent throughout Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954). Luckily, the prestigious Italian fashion house Missoni hired Anger to direct this short as a fresh and stupendous way to advertise their 2010 collection. Its seems that as of lately, Anger has been landing many of his filmmaking jobs from advertisers as the director also created the 42 second short Death (2008) for the vodka brand 42BELOW as part of their OneDreamRush film compilation; a cinematic anthology that also includes works by fellow subversive filmmakers like David Lynch, Harmony Korine, Larry Clark and Gaspar Noé. Naturally, Missoni is more intoxicating than any vodka drink could ever be and one will fail to receive a killer hangover after watching the lucid and colorful short. As one would expect from the artistically audacious Italian fashion house; eleven members of the Missoni family modeled their own creations for Missoni. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Missoni designer clothing featured in the short was in one way or another inspired by those wardrobes featured in past films directed by Kenneth Anger. As it typical of an Anger film, Missoni features an equally hypnotic and complimentary soundtrack that is sure to draw the viewer in; whether they want to be under the spell of the Lucifierian filmmaker or not. Missoni's score – which was composed by the French group Koudlam – sounds like an ambient neo-darkwave track. After initially viewing the short, I had no idea what it was supposed be about (but I was still completely enamored by it) and I certainly did not suspect that it was part of a marketing campaign. For those (myself included) that were under the terrible impression that Kenneth Anger may have lost his moviemaking magick, Missoni makes for a soothing and ecstatic awakening.
Despite being an advertisement, it seems that Kenneth Anger has equipped Missoni with occult symbolism. Considering that I am far from a Crowleyite, I have no idea what the esoteric messaged contained within the short means, but I am sure that it is clever. With Missoni, Kenneth Anger once again proves why he is one of the few modern filmmakers who can be compared to such pioneering directors as F.W. Murnau and Carl Th. Dreyer; as the short's mise-en-scène is as intricately and expressively assembled as one would expect from the canvas of a master painter's work. Indeed, Missoni is a hallucinatory collection of sinister, yet spectacular holograms that were designed with the utmost precision by an auteur with an irreplaceable vision. The fact that Missoni was created in Italy only makes it all the more fascinating. After all, Anger’s spiritual father and metaphysical guru guide Aleister Crowley was expelled from Italy by Il Duce Benito Mussolini, yet the American themelite auteur was welcomed to the country as a serious artistic celebrity. Instead of fascist propaganda, modern rich Italians with disposable incomes now have the honor of being subconsciously brainwashed into buying overpriced wardrobes via the cine-magick talents of svengali auteur Kenneth Anger. If anyone doubts Anger’s authentic talents as a magician with an otherworldly vision, one just has to blissfully bask in the minute phantasmagoric motion-picture dream Missoni; a film that proves not all advertising and subliminal messages are bad. It is undoubtedly a sad time in cinema history when a 2 ½ minute fashion advertisement directed by an elderly man (albeit a cinematic genius old man) has more artistry than the majority of independent films that have been released since the new millennium. I just hope that Kenneth Anger has the opportunity to direct more shorts like Missoni in the future for if he were cease to concoct such majestic works,I would indubitably suffer from a long-drawn-out case of cinephile torture.