Kenneth Anger "Fireworks" "Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome"& "Puce Moment"
I can't really remember when I was introduced to Anger's work, but it's been very inspirational to me especially in terms of production techniques. He works almost exclusively in low-budget experimental film, and still does today. He has produced almost forty works since 1937 and is one of the most influential independent filmmakers in cinema history.
Anger's life story is pretty amazing and complex. He's often written about as being involved in the Church of Satan, having lived with the founder of the Church of Satan in the 70's, though from what I've read he denies the claim that he practices and instead identifies with the beliefs of Thelema... described as the "male" counterpart to the more "feminine" lunar beliefs like Wicca. Almost all of his films deal with homoeroticism and the occult. Among his many accomplishments and credits in life, being one of the first openly gay filmmakers was one of them. After the release of Fireworks, which depicted homoerotic gay scenes (posted above), Anger was charged with obscenity. The case went to the Supreme Court of California, at which point he was eventually acquitted; with the court deeming it to be art rather than pornography.
Anger has worked with or been associated with several pop culture figures such as Mick Jagger, Kieth Richards, Marianne Faithful, Jimmy Page, and also did some work with Bobbi Beausoleil (Charels Manson). Filmmakers such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and John Waters have cited him as a major influence, and he has been credited as also influencing the music video as an art form.
Though Anger retired in the 90's -- he now is back to making work with Brian Butler, another filmmaker and favorite of mine. (I sometimes show him my work to see what he thinks!) The two of them also perform music, during which Anger plays the Theremin (500+ bonus cool points)
If you want a REALLY interesting read, look at Anger's Wiki page.
I couldn't decide which film to post. I want to post tons of them, it was between Rabbit's Moon, which is so loaded with symbolism and insanely beautiful... and Puce Moment. I really can't say why.. I fliped a figurative coin and am going with Puce Moment.
Edit! I'm also adding Inaguartion of the Pleasure dome with Anaïs Nin -- both are below