Author Topic: The Devil Made Them Do It  (Read 1933 times)


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The Devil Made Them Do It
« on: January 11, 2007, 12:50:46 AM »
The Devil made me do it
Clare Morgan
December 20, 2006
Page 1 of 2 | Single page

Type "Satanic Hollywood" into Google and up pop more than 830,000 hits, ranging from articles on Jayne Mansfield's membership of the Church of Satan to rants against Scientology and sleazy Hollywood gossip sites.

No real surprises there. Hollywood - as Brett Garten, the curator of the Chauvel cinema's Cinematheque program, observes - has long been regarded as a dark satanic mill, intent on perverting the minds of impressionable youth.

So, just in time for Christmas, Garten is presenting a program on the dark side of movie making, Satanic History of Hollywood.

After a 30-minute multimedia presentation on Hollywood's satanic influences, Garten will screen three little-known films from the genre: Lucifer Rising, Kenneth Anger's 1972 tapestry of images set to Bobby Beausoleil's psychedelic rock score; Anger's short 1969 film Invocation of My Demon Brother, with Moog soundtrack by Mick Jagger; and Seventh Victim, a 1943 film about a society of devil-worshippers in Greenwich Village who try to silence one of their members when she endangers their secrecy.

"I won't be leading a black Mass or anything, just having a few laughs," says Garten, a film buff and collector.

From The Devil's Manor to The Omen and beyond, the Devil has been a regular star of the big screen and has frequently ended up with the best lines.

"Satanism peaked in Hollywood in the '60s," Garten says. "If you want to look at the satanic underbelly of Hollywood, all the roads lead back to one man: Kenneth Anger. He was a very influential character. He only made about 10 films but they've had a great impact on filmmaking. He pioneered the use of pop music in his films, that sort of music montage style you get today.

"He also wrote the book Hollywood Babylon. It's not that far from Hollywood Babylon to NW - he pioneered all that trash mag, celebrity gossip. It's funny, the Greek word for devil, diabolus, means gossip or slanderer. So there's this idea that the devil is a liar and a gossip. That's basically what I'll be doing - the ultimate gossip session on all these famous people who dabbled in the black arts."

But how much of it was dabbling and how much was serious satanic worship?

"Some of the Christian people who've investigated this have said that Anton LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible, made it seem tongue-in-cheek and silly, like a sort of hedonistic religion," Garten says. "But, really, he thought there was something more to it. Certainly, Kenneth Anger was notorious for putting curses on people."