Eaux d'Artifice

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Eaux d'artifice
Directed by Kenneth Anger
Produced by Kenneth Anger
Starring Carmilla Salvatorelli
Cinematography Kenneth Anger
Edited by Kenneth Anger
Release date
  • 1953 (1953)
Running time
12 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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[1] ("a Hide and Seek in a night-time labyrinth"[2]) to the sounds of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", 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.[3] 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).[3]

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."[3]

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".


  1. ^ "Interview with Kenneth Anger". Electric Sheep. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Haller, Robert A. (1990). "Kenneth Anger". The Equinox. 3 (10): 239–60. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c MacDonald, Scott (2006). A critical cinema: interviews with independent filmmakers. UCLA UP. pp. 27–30. ISBN 978-0-520-24595-2. 

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