Gary Lucas Premiers Live Scores For Early Films of Curtis Harrington, Director of Wormwood Star

Avant-guitarist/composer Gary Lucas, is proud to premiere his new live scores for early short films by Curtis Harrington’s at Roulette in NYC on Friday, Feb. 2nd 2018 at 8:00pm.

Lucas’ website states:

“Considered one of the godfathers of New Queer Cinema (in every sense of the word) along with his friend and collaborator Kenneth Anger, LA-born and bred Curtis Harrington is probably best known today for his dark first fantasy feature film ‘Night Tide’ (1961) starring Dennis Hopper—which led to work with Roger Corman and American International Pictures on such bizarre genre fare as ‘Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet’ and ‘Queen of Blood’, and later quasi-mainstream horror films such as “Games” with Simone Signoret, ‘Who Slew Auntie Roo’, and ‘The Killer Bees’—plus lots of television (‘Twilight Zone’ etc.).

“Harrington’s early surrealist short films, beginning with ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ (1948) which was made during his high school years, and subsequent short films including ‘Fragment of Seeing’ (1946), ‘Picnic’ (1948), ‘On the Edge’ (1949) and ‘The Assignation’ (1953) are in a class by themselves, and are considered some of the most elegant and magical experimental cinema ever committed to celluloid by many film historians, cineastes, and film directors (especially European directors like Jacques Rivette). Not surprising, considering the company Harrington kept over the years, inhabiting a circle of cutting-edge LA cultural outriders including Kenneth AngerForrest J. AckermanMaya DerenJohn GilmoreMarjorie Cameron, and Orson Welles. Harrington’s late memoir ‘Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood’ (Drag City) is essential reading, and these films essential viewing for film connoisseurs, and are rarely screened anywhere.”

His filmography includes The Wormwood Star (1956)  a documentary about Marjorie Cameron.

According to Wikipedia:

“Harrington was born in Los Angeles on September 17, 1926, and grew up in Beaumont, California. His first cinematic endeavors were amateur films he made while still a teenager. He attended Occidental College and the University of Southern California before graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with a film studies degree.

“He began his career as a film critic, writing a book on Josef von Sternberg in 1948. He directed several avant-garde short films in the 1940s and ’50s, including Fragment of Seeking, Picnic, and The Wormwood Star (a film study of the artwork of Marjorie Cameron). Cameron also co-starred in his subsequent film Night Tide (1961) with Dennis Hopper. Harrington worked with Kenneth Anger, serving as a cinematographer on Anger’s Puce Moment and acting in Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) (he played Cesare, the Somnambulist). Harrington had links to Thelema shared with his close associate Kenneth Anger, and Marjorie Cameron who frequently acted in his films. One of Harrington’s mentors was avant-garde film pioneer Maya Deren, an initiated voodoo priestess.

Gary Lucas is a live film-scoring pioneer with 11 scores under his belt to date, beginning with his 1989 score for German Expressionist classic “The Golem” (1920) up to last year’s premiere at Roulette of his score for Welles’ silent japery “Too Much Johnson”, has been a Curtis Harrington fan for many years, since first reading about him in the pages of Forrest Ackerman’s “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine.





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