GenreDrama, Short ScreenplayKenneth Anger CountryUnited States
Release date1947 (1947) Initial releaseOctober 10, 1969 (Denmark) CastKenneth Anger (Dreamer), Gordon Gray (First Sailor), Bill Seltzer (Second Sailor) Similar moviesFifty Shades of Grey, Pacific Rim, Independence Day, Desire, Feast, Paperman
Fireworks (1947) is a homoerotic experimental film by Kenneth Anger. Filmed in his parents' home in Beverly Hills, California, over a long weekend while they were away, the film stars Anger and explicitly explores themes of homosexuality and sado-masochism. It is the earliest of his works to survive.
Anger synopsizes the film thus: "A dissatisfied dreamer awakes, goes out in the night seeking a 'light' and is drawn through the needle's eye. A dream of a dream, he returns to bed less empty than before." Adding later, "This flick is all I have to say about being seventeen, the United States Navy, American Christmas, and the Fourth of July."
Anger was arrested on obscenity charges following the release of Fireworks. In 1958, a lawsuit was brought against the manager Raymond Rohauer of L.A.'s Coronet Theatre for screening Fireworks. The case became "an epic obscenity trial" in the California Supreme Court which declared the film to be art.