Saturday, 26 May 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 150: Fri Jun 8

Liquid Sky (Tsukerman, 1982): ICA Cinema, 8.30pm


Here is the ICA introduction to this restoration of a cult classic, which also screens at the cinema on June 9th and 12th (details here):
The newly restored cult classic Liquid Sky is back at ICA for its European premiere, 35 years after its original release. The radical film, directed by Slava Tsukerman, was completely restored in 2017 from the director’s original 35mm negative print, and returns with visceral glory. The independent sci-fi stars American actress Anne Carlisle, co-writer of its screenplay, in a dual role as Margaret and Jimmy. Invisible aliens overtake Margaret’s body after landing on the rooftop of the aspirational fashion model’s downtown New York apartment. Meanwhile, her abusive alter ego Jimmy wallows in the excesses of New York's new wave fashion and music scenes. The aliens kill anyone Margaret sleeps with, at the point of orgasm, to feed on their endorphins, and are covertly studied by a scientist living in a nearby building, intent on exposing the extra-terrestrial activity. A time capsule of postmodern punk, Liquid Sky has long been out of circulation and scarcely available on cropped and murky VHS and DVD editions. With its distinctive Fairlight CMI synthesiser soundtrack, influential costume design by Marina Levikova-Neyman and colour restoration supervised by director of photography Yuri Neyman, the clarity of its original release returns to this underground classic.
Time Out review:
Film-maker Tsukerman's personal comment on, er, the State of Western Man, magnified through a thoroughly unpleasant bunch of New York junkies, poseurs and twits. Claiming to subvert a host of Hollywood verities, Tsukerman unleashes a parasitic alien being on the New York smack'n'sex demi-monde. Junkies and sex fiends start dropping like flies, and not even the Bruno Ganz-alike scientist can stop the voracious bug. Tsukerman stops short of his original intention of offing the whole cast, allowing for an extraordinary fairy-tale ascension at the end, but his aim of highlighting social malaise gets happily mislaid in a bizarre, often hilarious melee of weird drugs, weird sex and off-the-wall camp SF. 
Close Encounters for acid casualties.
 
 

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