|Dear Mr. Anger,|
|I recently saw a retrospective of your films. I detest them but I also like them. It’s not 1947 or 54 or 62 anymore. Your actors gaze out at me from the screen like retro-active MTV cliches and heroin-chic has-beens. They’re subsumed by today’s Everyperson trying to be Somebody.|
Why don’t they evoke the enigmatic unknowableness I associate with Garbo or the Somnambulist? Your subaltern universes and occult communities aren’t Other any longer. I see art students discovering bohemian identities, retirees buying Harleys and hitting the road, urban professionals at another cocaine sex party.
|It might’ve been tough staying in the theatre if I wasn’t so fascinated by what’s become of your efforts.|
|I remind myself of when and under what conditions you made your films. The present keeps overwhelming them. Here are the hordes of the 21rst century — resigned to indulgences, dying alone and insane, pretending to be Gods, Immortals, Devils — anything but meat puppets.
Hell on Earth. Reality TV. The horrible and tedious faux-romanticism and lobotomized surreality of music videos. It all owes you so much despite yourself (starting with the art direction).
Before the advent of perpetual cliche, before deviancy as a lifestyle choice, I think you embraced something authentically taboo and seemingly impossible to acculturate. There is a sensibility — a faith — in revolutionary iconoclasm and an access to liberty through the pursuit of one’s own desires.
|This was magic, but unfortunately magic has been reduced, just like your films, to an awkward, hieroglyphic emptiness.|