Curtis Harrington Short Film Collection (Blu-ray + DVD)
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- Number of Discs: 2
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes
- Video: Black & White / Color
- Released: June 25, 2013
- Originally Released: 2013
- Label: Emphasis
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Directed by||Curtis Harrington|
Fragment of Seeking (1946, 16 mins.) Harrington plays a young man desperately seeking out the fleeting image of a female companion, and though he never quite catches her, he discovers much more through the surreal explorations of his own sexuality. Made a year before Kenneth Anger's Fireworks, the films contain some similarities in their treatment of homoerotic themes, though Fragment is more restrained and subtle.
Picnic (1948, 22 mins.) Beginning in the reality of American middle-class life, Picnic portrays the idealistic dream-quest of the protagonist, from which he is finally cast off. Harrington himself described the film thus: 'A satirical comment on middle-class life frames a dream-like continuity in which the protagonist pursues an illusory object of desire.'
On the Edge (1949, 6 mins.) In this fragile, yet frightening poetic fantasy, set against a dark industrial landscape, Harrington casts his own mother and father in the lead roles.
The Assignation (1953, 8 mins.) Long considered lost, this was Harrington's first color film. It was shot in Venice, Italy, and not unlike Fragment of Seeking, follows a masked figure through the labyrinthine canals of the city, building to a spectacular climax.
The Wormwood Star (1955, 10 mins) A film study of the artwork of famed painter, occultist and Alistair Crowley-enthusiast Majorie Cameron. Cameron went on to star in Harrington s feature-length Night Tide. It is by far one of his most visually arresting works.
Usher (2002, 38 mins.) Harrington's final film before he died in 2007, Usher is a remake of a short he made in high school based on the classic Edgar Allan Poe story The Fall of the House of Usher. He once again expresses his interest in the occult by casting known members of the Church of Satan, Nikolas and Zeena Schreck.
Bonus Features Also included are four bonus features. The Four Elements (1966) is a poetic and avant-garde documentary Harrington made for the U.S. Information Agency. The Fall of the House of Usher (1942) is the original film made by Harrington when was in high school from which Usher is based. A short interview shot by filmmakers Tyler Hubby and Jeffrey Schwarz, who are responsible for the documentary House of Harrington (2009); and a 2003 interview with Harrington made courtesy of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. An enclosed booklet contains notes on restorations by Academy Film Archive preservationist Mark Toscano and an essay by Lisa Janssen.