Greencine.com has reported the passing of Curtis Harrington, notable in Thelemic circles for his involvement in the films of Kenneth Anger, including acting as “Slave” in The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome and performing the role of cinematographer in Puce Moment.
Director Curtis Harrington, who worked on avant-garde films, 60s schlock and nighttime TV soaps, died Sunday at his house in the Hollywood Hills of natural causes. He was 80.
Curtis was more than a film and television director; he was also the first film critic (of whom I am aware) to make the ascent into the director’s chair. He wrote a book about his favorite director Josef von Sternberg in 1948 (very early for a book about an individual director) and he was also a contributor to Films & Filming and Films Illustrated in the early 1950s. People talk about directors like Bogdanovich, Coppola, Scorsese and DePalma being the first generation of directors raised on movies, but Curtis was making films before any of them – and he was making films that were in their own way recursive, depending on the audience’s knowledge of the screen languages formulated by Sternberg and by the great suspense masters Hitchcock, Lewton and Clouzot.