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Excessive Expenditure in ‘Illusion City’

WHITE ELEPHANTS – the God of Hollywood wanted white elephants, and white elephants he got – eight of ‘em, plaster mammoths perched on mega-mushroom pedestals, lording it over the colossal court of Belshazzer, the pasteboard Babylon built beside the dusty tin-lizzie trail called Sunset Boulevard.(1)

Griffith – the Movie Director as God – was riding high, high as he’d ever go, over Illusion City, whooshing up a hundred-foot-high elevator camera tower.(2)

So begins Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon – ‘The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood’s Darkest and Best Kept Secrets’(3). In 1975, Anger picked over the sordid debris left from 60 years of notorious hedonism, egotism and extremely lucrative business. The ‘Babylon’ of Anger’s title refers to the setting of part of DW Griffith’s 1916 film Intolerance. Griffith, supposed originator of the ‘Hollywood Film’(4), is for Anger a sort of fetishised Father figure; director as self-made deity, builder and patriarch of ‘Illusion City’. If Griffith is Anger’s father, then his mother is the Movie Business; industrial cinema – Anger started his career as a child star, with his given name, Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer, before eventually becoming infamous underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Anger employs the Babylonian set as an allegory against the wasteful business of making mainstream films – a system that simultaneously revolts and infatuates him. The historical gap between them allows Anger to turn Griffith’s career (rather than his actual films) into a symbolic narrative, twisting his actions as one would a fiction. Griffith’s life really is very appropriate for this kind of hi-jack; he was an incorrigible self-mythologiser and bender-of-truths himself. In Film Follies, Film critic Stuart Klawans also writes about narratives around cinema instead of the films themselves, taking Intolerance as his first example. He chronicles examples of fatal couplings of excess and lack of business acumen within mainstream Hollywood and finds a compelling but also somehow useful type of madness in these awkward, oversized children doomed to critical derision and financial failure.
Georges Bataille also describes a useful waste, where excessive expenditure becomes a form of resistance to a rigid, stultifying ‘conservationist’ economic system. Bataille traces the urge towards reckless spending back to the ‘potlatch’ (codified by Marcel Mauss) an antagonistic, competitive form of exchange in which a gift from one tribal chief to another must be reciprocated, with interest; a custom necessarily escalates to a point where one chief is either forced to lose face or be ruined by ever more extravagant gifts. But can such a system ever be evident in something as ruthlessly profit driven as industrial cinema? Jean Francois Lyotard applies the term jouissance to cinema(5), suggesting that as a medium film is capable of going beyond industrial entertainment and achieving a kind of freedom that allows a perverse, excessive pleasure. However, if everything in Hollywood is illusion, hiding the wheels and gears of a lucrative industry, and every visible expenditure symbolic, can it ever be capable of a useful waste? Or does cinema always remain part of the Debordian Spectacle(6), playing to an impotent audience constricted by an all-powerful economic system?

Griffith’s Folly
Griffith’s success with Birth of a Nation – his controversial (and overtly racist) elegy to the downtrodden post-civil war American South – gave him unparalleled fame and power as a filmmaker and with these he produced his second rather unwieldy epic. Intolerance shakily spans most of civilisation’s history through four narrative strands; lashed together with the theme of man’s intolerance of man. One story illustrates four key episodes from the life of Christ, another the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre in medieval France, another, a contemporary story of a deprivation, crime and busybodies in interfering an unfortunate woman’s life in the American slums. The modern day story is regarded as the most successful by many critics (and certainly the most moving), but by the far the most famous strand is that of King Belshazzer and his court in ancient Babylon – unaware of it’s imminent, inevitable destruction. However, it is the sets that Griffiths and his designer Walter L. Hall had built that now overshadow the rest of the film – by far the most ambitious and extravagant structures to have ever been built for a film(7).
Film Follies is the title of Stuart Klawan’s study of ‘the cinema out of order’(8) . Klawans admits that whilst he holds most of mainstream cinema in disdain (of course), the overly ambitious and misjudged films he calls ‘follies’ hold a guilty fascination for him. ‘Folly signifies an extravagant form of madness’, he explains, grouping Intolerance with other ‘film follies’ such as Stroheim’s Greed and Selznick’s Duel in the Sun: films that ‘were not only too ambitious but also too expensive to make’, career-wreckers and bank-breakers, made by and for those ‘who want to die of too much cinema’(9). Klawans directly compares Griffith’s set to the ostensibly useless structures popular with nineteenth century landscapers and eccentrics, who often aped older styles, to purely ornamental ends. In their guide to architectural follies, Gwyn Headley and Wim Meulenkamp suggest that a folly should be: ‘a big, Gothick, ostentatious, over-ambitious and useless structure, preferably with a wildly improbable local legend attached’(10). It doesn’t seem like an unreasonable extension of the term; especially in the case of Intolerance: it left such a significant architectural legacy, as well as a celluloid one; it was clearly over ambitious; and (seemingly) useless in terms of attracting a paying audience. Kenneth Anger has even added a ‘local legend’: that of Griffiths himself. After all, a crucial component of any built folly is the eccentricity of the person who built it.
Looking at Intolerance now, with its accepted position as a fatal error that brought Griffith’s career crashing down around his ears, it is hard to understand how such an outlandish production was not perceived as a huge risk(11). Klawans suggests that an explanation for Griffith’s illogical, messy production is in fact professional rivalry. Whilst Birth of a Nation was rapidly becoming a run away success, Griffiths was working on a small-scale drama called The Mother and the Law (which eventually became the modern day strand of Intolerance). It was probably in this period, sometime in 1914 or 1915, that he saw Giovanni Pastrone’s film Cabiria (12). Although the Italian epic never had a wide release in America, Griffiths – recently crowned as King of American cinema – would have had a chance to see it. Based loosely on Flaubert’s exotic novel Salammbo, with which it shares the setting of Punic-era Carthage, Pastrone’s film was a landmark in filmic visual extravagance and attention to exotic detail. Pastrone sets his film in a less frequently portrayed part of the ancient world (North Africa), and doesn’t shrink from taking full advantage of the licence this gives him to “embellish” historical evidence. He populates his film with swimming pools full of girls, huge animal statues; even a monstrous deity that devours live sacrifices thrown into its gaping mouth, belching gouts of flame in satisfaction. Cabiria is truly a visionary work in terms of design, and also has an enjoyable, coherent and satisfying story. After seeing Pastrone’s exuberant masterpiece, in 1915, DW Griffith begins work on his retaliatory salvo(13).
The Babylonian scenes in Intolerance were conceived as pure spectacle from the very start and within them one image especially stands out as blatant spectacle; engineered as a ‘jaw dropper’: a long shot zooming high above Belshazzer’s court with a feast in full swing. This was a crane shot before camera cranes were invented, and shows off the real space of the monstrous set to its full. Both Schickel and Klawans link Griffith’s treatment of his Babylonian subject matter to his visit to the Panama Pacific Exposition and to world’s fairs in general(14), suggesting that he pays a severely reduced amount of attention to the protagonists and approaches the scenes as if he were creating a filmed visit to a fair, rather than any kind of engaging drama. Schickel even suggests that Griffiths seems to have taken further inspiration from the Babylonian-style décor in Louis Martin’s restaurant, a very fashionable haunt in New York(15). Whereas the modern story in Intolerance is admired for its tension, pathos and social comment, the Babylonian scenes are admired for their design and technical virtuosity. This consensus lends weight to Klawans’ proposed ‘folly’ status for the film – it wasn’t even conceived as a ‘film’ proper and (in the Babylonian scenes) shares more with the world fair’s architectural exuberance and nineteenth century ornament. The court set became the icon of the film; the set that outlived the shoot – all the others having been demolished to accommodate it, and after the release of the film stood for a further four years, romantically mouldering away, cracking and dissolving into a ruin; evocative of both ancient Babylon and a bygone era of Hollywood; for Kenneth Anger, at least.

The Potlatch
In The Gift, the anthropologist Marcel Mauss describes a system of exchange called the potlatch. This is a practice widespread amongst “primitive” tribes across the world and particularly well documented amongst certain Native American nations. The potlatch is one of a number of pre-economic systems that facilitate exchange of goods, and also sacrificial tributes between chiefs of different tribes. What distinguishes the potlatch from the better known bartering system(16) is that when something is offered, be it food, or a sacrifice in the recipient’s honour, reciprocation is obligatory (although, crucially, not requested). Potlatch hinges on a notion of honour and ‘name’, but also includes the concept of interest. The gift, when given in potlatch, means credit has been given to the recipient, even when the gift is an offering to gods or ancestors, and must be repaid in excess of the original offering. This ‘interest’ is what causes destructive escalation of the potlatch:

Consumption and destruction of goods really go beyond all bounds. In certain kinds of potlatch one must expend all that one has, keeping nothing back. It is a competition to see who is the richest and also the most madly extravagant.(17)

The potlatch is at its most absurd when the offering is a sacrificial one:

In a certain number of cases, it is not even a question of giving and returning gifts, but of destroying, so as not to give the slightest hint of desiring your gift to be reciprocated. Whole boxes of olachen (candlefish) oil or whale oil are burnt, as are houses and thousands of blankets. The most valuable copper objects are broken and thrown into water, in order to put down and to ‘flatten’ one’s rival.(18)

Mauss defines ‘flattening’ as causing another to lose the ‘weight attached to one’s name’(19) by making a potlatch that they cannot reciprocate. The potlatch system is actually far more deep-seated than a juridical or economic system; it is religious and mythological; ‘since the chiefs who are involved represent and incarnate their ancestors and gods, whose name they bear, whose dances they dance and whose spirits possess them’(20). Each time a gift is received, the recipient must reciprocate, or face something worse than death: dishonour in the eyes of their ancestors(21).
Griffith might be portrayed as having entered such an exchange, with (or rather, against) the Italian director, Pastrone. Griffith had recently entered the then tiny group of ‘Big Movie’ directors with Birth of a Nation. After watching Cabiria, which was a new kind of cinematic spectacle, he had to reciprocate – under potlatch-like pressure – with an overblown ‘gift’ of his own. To complete his next scheduled offering, The Mother and the Law, as planned would damage his name, so he warped it into Intolerance, a giant effigy burnt in the name of his directorial genius, and a slap in the face for Pastrone. Like the Tlingit chief throwing copper discs into water as offerings to his ancestor, Griffith and Pastrone commit their labour and fortunes to celluloid, their visions captured on the impregnated plastic, to be gazed upon by their public. Appropriate, perhaps, that the novel that inspired Cabiria (Flaubert’s Salammbo) features ideas of sacrifice so prominently, both ritualised offerings to appease gods and strategic sacrifice of soldiers and resources towards eventual victory. Perhaps it is even more fitting that the story is essentially that of a battle between male egos, the king Hamilcar, Salammbo’s father, on one side, and Mâtho the barbarian, her would-be lover, on the other. The thousands of soldiers, slaves and citizens, and of course Salammbo herself, implicated in the sweeping battles and upheavals of the narrative are subject to the whim of these two men; to their political and sexual desires(22).
George Bataille develops Mauss’s analysis of the potlatch into a critique of dominant capitalist economies. He sees the potlatch, rather than bartering, as the true ancestor of our market economy; a system that has come to deny its roots and now totally prevents any kind of useless expenditure previously allowed, if only to the wealthy. He divides all consumption in two varieties: the first being what is essential to the continuation of life and production; the second what constitutes ‘unproductive expenditure: luxury, mourning, war, cults, the construction of sumptuary monuments, games, spectacles, arts’(23). The useless loss inherent in the second type of expenditure is for Bataille what remains from the ancient practice of potlatch, the destructive nature of which Bataille emphasises even more than Mauss:

Potlatch is the opposite of a principle of conservatism: it puts an end to the stability of fortunes as it existed within the totemic economy…An activity of excessive exchange replaced heredity…with a kind of deliriously formed ritual poker. But the players can never retire from the game, their fortunes made; they remain at the mercy of provocation.(24)

In his essay ‘Acinema’ Jean-François Lyotard uses the example of a match, to illustrate the choice and potential for useful capitalist production and alternatively pure enjoyment:

If you use the match to light the gas that heats the water for the coffee
which keeps you alert on your way to work, the consumption is not sterile, for it is a movement belonging to the circuit of capital […] when a child strikes the matchhead to see what happens – just for the fun of it – he enjoys the movement itself, the changing colours, the light flashing at the height of the blaze, the death of the tiny piece of wood.(25)

Lyotard suggests that the child ‘misspends’ the energy, in pursuit of a perverse sort of pleasure, la jouissance(26). Lyotard suggests a possible ‘Acinema’, against industrial entertainment cinema that pursues exactly this kind of jouissance, a cinema for the hell of it. Looking at Griffith’s work now, it seems to us that he came close to this type of freedom; that he wilfully pursued it and risked his career in doing so. As Schickel attests;

We are in the presence of an artist who is, as never before or later, simply drunk on the power of his medium and his own powers over it…It is the kind of intoxication that frees one of inhibitions, that gives one a sense of mastery over self and world.(27)

Bataille seems to mourn the passing of an older incarnation of capitalism, when the aristocracy would routinely engage in conspicuous, excessive expenditure (such as architectural follies[28]). Bataille berates the middle classes, who have replaced the old aristocracy: ‘Everything that was generous, orgiastic, and excessive has disappeared; the themes of rivalry upon which individual activity still depends develop in obscurity, and are as shameful as belching’(29). Klawans looks back at the early days of Hollywood and sees something akin to what Bataille pines after; where orgiastic expenditure and vicious rivalry are laid bare, bare as they have ever been.
Bataille splits spending on the arts into two, terming the first, which includes architecture, dance and music ‘real expenditure’ – architectural follies would also fall into this category. The second includes painting, literature and theatre, classed as ‘symbolic expenditure’; where representations of loss, degradation and death are used to reach the audience, through storytelling, allegory and metaphor. Cinema can be seen as falling between these two terms, including some of the traits of both architecture and music – it provides, directly, an experience that affects the audience(30), but also is used to tell stories through symbols, like theatre. In Intolerance Griffith did made wild use of symbols such as Christ and the impoverished mother to construct a narrative but he also created a real place – which survived the production of the film. The story of the production, and his career are also surviving, documented by-products with an audience in their own right. More problematically, Hollywood cinema in general can be seen as being between productive expenditure and useless expenditure – it is openly and intrinsically both art and business. It is this problem – arising properly some time after Griffith – that creates the opposition Hollywood vs. Auteur(31), and also alternative filmmakers like Kenneth Anger. One of the appeals of a film like Intolerance is that it casts Griffith in the role of uninhibited visionary, a real ‘Artist’, unconcerned with commerce beyond the point of securing funds for his creations. Klawans admits that his category of ‘film folly’ implicitly acknowledges the double nature of industrial cinema:
‘Folly also means wasteful excess, a sense of the word that takes us beyond aesthetics into considerations of film as an industry.’(32)
In Illusion city, any expenditure becomes in Bataille’s sense symbolic; a gesture as part of a narrative, as Hollywood itself is perhaps the greatest story it has ever told. Anger knows this; Hollywood Babylon is his telling of this story. Real money is spent, real labour expended; but all towards an image – an uncomfortable mix of art and business; economic fact and extravagant fiction.
Discussing the rare cases where symbolic expenditure is ‘least degraded and intellectualised’, Bataille concedes that the symbolic expenditure and loss can become actual loss for the artist:

It condemns him to the most disappointing forms of activity, to misery, to despair, to the pursuit of inconsistent shadows that provide nothing but vertigo or rage.(33)

A romantic interpretation of Griffith’s actions would almost certainly be to his taste. However, Griffith’s biographer, Richard Schickel, suggests that the accepted view of Intolerance as a spectacular and career breaking failure is actually a story written later by Griffiths and his regular muse Lillian Gish – a fictionalised, carefully mediated version of events. Schickel frequently points out the fictions woven into DW’s autobiography, such as a passage where Griffiths describes, after the completion of a feature, sitting on the roof of the hotel he was living in, watching Halley’s comet flash through the sky, ‘Never mind that Griffith was not then living in a hotel, never mind that the return of Halley’s comet was two years off’(34). Schickel portrays Griffith as an incorrigible self-mythologiser and a knowing exploiter of other’s fascination with the tragic figure of the artist fallen from grace. Schickel’s account of Griffith’s fall runs contrary to the accepted version of events, in which Intolerance is the insane project that ruins its creator. He instead supposes that even such an expensive flight of fancy as this was not enough to ruin Griffiths: he was still making vast amounts from Birth of a Nation, and in fact the commercial underperformance of Intolerance has been greatly exaggerated. Schickel states that Griffiths had ten more years of making major films ahead of him and that the myth of Intolerance as a career-killer was chiefly woven by Griffith himself:

Griffith set about converting it from what he had hoped it would be, a turning point in film history, into something it was also not quite, a turning point in his personal history, that moment in his personal mythology at which visionary genius was thwarted by an uncomprehending world.(35)

In a famous letter from Griffith to Lillian Gish, his favourite star, subsequently quoted in her autobiography, he describes himself walking through theatres full of empty seats, his creation playing to no audience; ‘I don’t know where to go or where to turn since my great failure’(36), he writes. Schickel considers this highly suspect and argues it is unlikely to have been written at the time Gish claims, if written by Griffiths himself at all. In Schickel’s biography we see Griffiths as less a filmmaker – more the cultivator of his own image as a genius. Bataille complains that:

Romanticism has only made misfortune into a new form of career and has made the lies of those it has not killed even more tiresome. (37)

With Griffith being such a pathological self-mythologiser, it is difficult to see any of his expenditure on his film as other than a symbolic part of the larger story of ‘David Wark Griffith – The Genius’. Of course, cinema as hybrid business-art, is the ideal medium in which to create this sort of myth: the Artist against Capital, but ultimately (and according to Griffith later in his life, tragically) subservient to it. Anger is just another example of the same idea, merely of a different generation: post-Hollywood, staunchly financially independent but still defined by economics. Contrary to the solace Klawans finds in the whimsy of ‘film follies’, when looked at as a consciously constructed narrative, Griffith’s wasteful expenditure appears cynical, as part of a mask that hides the constriction of the dominant economic system contested by Bataille.

Bataille concludes that true life only begins when man exceeds the closed systems assigned to existence by reasonable, sensible concerns. It is in the reckless and impulsive act that man truly lives. Free expenditure induces states of excitation akin to those of intoxication, and produces absurd values, such as glory:

Made complete through degradation, glory, appearing in a sometimes sinister and sometimes brilliant form, has never ceased to dominate social existence; it is impossible to attempt anything without it when it is dependent on the blind practice of personal or social loss.(38)

According to Klawans, free expenditure lives on in the convoluted games of filmmaking. The romantic idea of true life through destructive and anti-capitalist spending is exemplified in the figure of the maverick director, against economics, production and the Hollywood system. However, this figure and all his gestures are part of that very system.
Filmic follies, the transatlantic battle between two famous directors, Griffith’s rewriting of his own career and Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer’s creation – Kenneth Anger; all these forms become weapons in a battle of creative egos – jostling for recognition inside a system that is ultimately defined by economics, one way or another. The audience for cinema is not only an audience for the film presentation itself, it is also watching the process of filmmaking, the filmmakers themselves and the debris left over afterwards (be this physical remains of the shoot or economic and personal repercussions on those who control it). As a consequence, these egos themselves become fictionalised and symbolic with the bigger narrative of Hollywood(39). Like the protagonists in Flaubert’s novel Salammbo, Griffith’s career is written for romantic effect; Intolerance, his ‘great failure’ made to seem as inevitable as Salammbo’s death, or indeed, the fall of Babylon in his own film. Kenneth Anger then turns this narrative into allegorical image, as part of his own creation.
The audience, when considering a ‘folly’ becomes witness to a constructed and fictionalised example of jouissance, where meaningless amounts of money are ‘wasted’ on images, by images of filmmakers. A ‘film folly’ can therefore only supply temporary relief from ordinary industrial cinema – it can never be an antidote to it.


Richard Whitby 2008

1. Kenneth Anger, Hollywood Babylon (Dell Publishing: New York 1975) p.3
2. Ibid.
3. The tag-line on the cover of the American edition of the book.
4. I.e., a narrative unfolding over several reels, usually with recognised actors performing it.
5. Jouissance – a Freudian term meaning an excessive pleasure, one that is almost too much and becomes painful. Jean Francois Lyotard uses it in his essay ‘Acinema’ in reference to an anti-capitalist impulse to waste rather than invest (I discuss this text in more detail later).
6. If ever there was a medium was ripe for the accusation of becoming ‘capital to such a degree that it becomes an image’ (Guy Debord, paragraph 34, The Society of the Spectacle [Black and Red: London 1970] , then that medium is surely industrial entertainment cinema.
7. The building of the sets eventually became the subject of another film, Good Morning Babylon, in 1986 (dir. Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani).
8. The tag-line on the cover of Klawans’ book.
9. Stuart Klawans, Film Follies (Cassell: New York 1999) p.1.
10. Gwyn Headley & Wim Meulenkamp, Follies: A Rough Guide to Rogue Architechture in England, Scotland and Wales (Cape: London 1986) p. xix
11. Richard Schickel, Griffith’s biographer, tells us that Griffiths, after having great difficulty securing funding for the ultimately extremely profitable Birth of a Nation, had absolutely no trouble selling enough shares to pay for the disapointingly underachieving follow-up – DW Griffith: An American Life (Simon and Schuster: New York 1984) p. 326
12. 1914 Italy, dir. Giovanni Pastrone
13. Bernard Hansen has written an account of the parallels between Cabiria and Intolerance (‘D. W. Griffith: Some Sources’ Art Bulletin 54:4 Dec. 1972). Both films are set in a city besieged and beyond that, Hanson notes that the great courtyard set in which Belshazzer’s feast       takes place is in fact a development of a smaller set in Cabiria; even the famous elephants are lifted from Pastrone’s design – there is no evidence for the presence of elephants in Babylonian iconography.
14. Klawans traces the eclectic, quadruple narrative structure of Intolerance to the variously styled pavilions found in a world’s fair, and also the desire to produce visual spectacles. He puts much emphasis on the fact that Griffith had a matte shot taken of the towers in the Panama Pacific Exposition (p.10, Film Follies), presumably with the intention of using them as a background for part of a film one day (of course, in the end, he simply built his own towers).
15. Schickel, p. 313
16. Bartering being a simple exchange of one agreed amount of goods for another – a direct swapping, without interest and any obligation beyond that exchange.
17. Marcel Mauss, The Gift trans. WD Halls (Routledge: London 1990) p. 37
18. Ibid, p. 37
19. Ibid, p. 41
20. Ibid, p. 38
21.Griffith himself claimed a commitment to his ancestors, publicising his father’s career in the Confederate army. It is easy to see Birth of a Nation as a tribute to his father, and to his family’s southern roots.
22. The tribes Mauss studies are almost always patriarchal societies, as is Flaubert’s Carthage – as was early Hollywood; Hollywood still continues to be so, for the most part.
23. George Bataille, ‘The Notion of Expenditure’ Visions of Excess trans. Allan Stoekl (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis 1985) p.118
24. Bataille, p.122
25. Jean-François Lyotard, ‘Acinema’ Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology ed. Philip Rosen (Columbia University Press: New York 1986) p.350.
26. In the sense that Freud uses the term; i.e. a sort of pleasure that is beyond the pleasure principle and the opposite of plaisir (normal, socially acceptable and evidently productive pleasure). With reference to the quotation; enjoying the coffee on the way out to work would be productive plaisir, whereas burning the match just to see it burn is a wasteful and perverse jouissance.
27. Schickel, p. 328
28. Bataille is unspecific about which period he is so nostalgic over; he tells us that the decline of conspicuous expenditure comes some time after the middle ages, but presumably really manifests itself at some point in the nineteenth century with the great economic changes of the industrial revolution.
29. Bataille, ‘The Notion of Expenditure’ p124
30. This is a position taken by Andre Bazin in ‘Mixed Cinema’ (What is Cinema? trans. Hugh Gray [University of California Press: 2004]); that cinema is in fact a functional art form, like architecture.
31. Jake Horsley offers a dissection of this opposition in Dogville vs. Hollywood (Marion Boyars: London 2005).
32. Klawans, p. 2
33. Bataille p. 120
34. Schickel, p. 109. In fact, Schickel starts his book with Griffith’s two different descriptions of his first memory, firstly claimed as that of his father’s sword, later, a yellow dog. This view of Griffith – as an unreliably and duplicitous witness to his own life – colours the whole biography.
35. Schickel, p. 337
36. Ibid.
37. George Bataille ‘The Sorceror’s Apprentice’ Visions of Excess trans. Allan Stoekl (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis 1985) p.224
38. Bataille, ‘The Notion of Expenditure’, p. 129
39. Kenneth Anger, of course, is not a Hollywood filmmaker, however, he is dependent on it, completely. It seems obvious that he would not exist without it, therefore reasonable to implicate him in it. David E James, slightly sarcastically, terms people working outside Hollywood but dependent on it for the subject matter for (and the means to make) their work ‘Hollywood extras’ (‘Artists as Filmmakers in Los Angeles’ October 100 Spring 2005).

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Kenneth Anger, Hollywood Babylon (Dell Publishing: New York 1975)
George Bataille, ‘The Notion of Expenditure’ and ‘The Sorceror’s Apprentice’ Visions of Excess trans. Allan Stoekl (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis 1985)
Andre Bazin, ‘Mixed Cinema’ What is Cinema? trans. Hugh Gray (University of California Press: 2004)
Guy Debord The Society of the Spectacle (Black and Red: London 1970)
Sigmund Freud Beyond the Pleasure Principle trans. John Reddick (Penguin Classics: London 2003)
Gustave Flaubert Salammbo trans.AJ Krailsheimer (Penguin Classics: London 1977)
Bernard Hansen ‘D. W. Griffith: Some Sources’ Art Bulletin 54:4 Dec. 1972
Gwyn Headley & Wim Meulenkamp, Follies: A Rough Guide to Rogue Architechture in England, Scotland and Wales (Cape: London 1986)
Jake Horsley Dogville vs Hollywood (Marion Boyars: London 2005)
David E James ‘Artists as Filmmakers in Los Angeles’ October 100 Spring 2005
Stuart Klawans, Film Follies (Cassell: New York 1999)
Jean-François Lyotard, ‘Acinema’ Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology ed. Philip Rosen (Columbia University Press: New York 1986)
Marcel Mauss, The Gift trans. WD Halls (Routledge: London 1990)
Rachel O Moore, Savage Theory (Duke University Press: London 2000)
Richard Schickel, DW Griffith: An American Life (Simon and Schuster: New York 1984)

Birth of a Nation 1915 dir. David Wark Griffith, USA
Intolerance 1916 dir. David Wark Griffith, USA
Cabiria 1914 dir. Giovanni Pastrone, Italy
Scorpio Rising 1964 dir. Kenneth Anger, USA
Good Morning Babylon 1986 dir. Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, Italy