Fireworks (1947 film)

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Directed by Kenneth Anger
Starring Kenneth Anger
Music by Ottorino Respighi
Distributed by Mystic Fire Video (DVD)
Release dates
  • 1947 (1947)
Running time
14 min.
Country United States

Fireworks (1947) is a homoerotic experimental film by Kenneth Anger. Filmed in his parents' home in Beverly Hills, California over a long weekend while they were away, the film stars Anger and explicitly explores themes of homosexuality and sado-masochism.[1] It is the earliest of his works to survive.

Anger synopsizes the film thus: "A dissatisfied dreamer awakes, goes out in the night seeking a 'light' and is drawn through the needle's eye. A dream of a dream, he returns to bed less empty than before." Adding later, "This flick is all I have to say about being seventeen, the United States Navy, American Christmas, and the Fourth of July."[2]

Anger was arrested on obscenity charges following the release of Fireworks.[citation needed] In 1958, a lawsuit was brought against the manager Raymond Rohauer of L.A.'s Coronet Theatre for screening Fireworks.[3][4] The case became "an epic obscenity trial" in the California Supreme Court[5] which declared the film to be art.[6]


  1. ^ Hoberman, J.; Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1983). Midnight Movies. New York: Harper & Row. p. 55. ISBN 0-06-090990-0. 
  2. ^ Smith, Claiborne K.H (1997-10-30). "Kustom Film Kommando: Interview With Filmmaker Kenneth Anger". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  3. ^ John R. Burger (1995). One-handed histories: the eroto-politics of gay male video pornography. Routledge. p. 9. 
  4. ^ James, David E. (2005). The most typical avant-garde: history and geography of minor cinemas in Los Angeles. University of California Press. p. 375. 
  5. ^ Mazur, Matt (5 March 2007). "The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 1 (1947)". Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Frye, Brian L. (2007-04-24). "Angry Young Man". The Stranger. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 

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