Dan Graham presents ‘The Lickerish Quartet‘, one of the greatest softcore films by American sexploitation auteur Radley Metzger. Dubbed an “erotic duet for four players” by Metzger, this lavish production tells the story of an aristocratic European family—father, mother, and son—drawn into a series of sexual encounters with a mysterious woman.
‘The Lickerish Quartet’ was the first of Metzger’s films branded with the X-rating (even though it features no explicit or hardcore footage) because of its nudity and sexuality. It’s also his most conceptually ambitious and intellectually challenging film and, by his own admission, his most personal. It signals its ambitions from the opening quote from Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author” (“All this present reality of yours is fated to seem mere illusion tomorrow“) and then plunges us into the games of a family of jaded aristocrats. Metzger cuts Pirandello’s cast down to four: the sarcastic man of villa (Frank Wolff), his wife (Erika Remberg), and her son (Paolo Turco), a mannered intellectual constantly mocked by his step-father. (The fourth arrives later.) They have no names, fitting for a film where identity becomes so fluid.
‘The Lickerish Quartet’ Plays at Brooklyn, NYC’s Light Industry on Saturday, August 10, 2013. Tickets are on a first come first served basis at $7. Box Office Opens at 2:30pm
“The erotic film assumes a certain self-consciousness on the spectator’s part, a consciousness of him/herself as a person with a sexual desire. In a porno theater the spectator unconsciously desires to observe others in the audience brought to desire by their identification with the action. Thus the viewer may be brought out of the film to observe his/her neighbor’s heavy breathing, aroused, embarrassed silences, while he/she is aware that the other person’s ‘thoughts’/feelings are similar to his/her own. The observer identifies with the other spectator’s desires. By the same token, the porno film is equally self-conscious, manifested in the actors’ lack of total projection into their roles, a self-conscious directorial self-indulgence, lack of defined narrative. The film has a ‘bad conscience’ as it seems aware that its ‘reality’ is more about exploiting the spectator at the level of his guilty base desires (Puritan ethic) than in its filmic structure. These ‘exploited’ but real sexual desires of the spectators at the porno film are shown to be false by the shoddiness of the imaginary film world with which they must identify to be sexually stimulated. But there is another sexual desire experienced by the film spectator. It is a result of his/her ego identifying with the film projection itself: the projector; the invisible camera, which is, nevertheless, still identified with; the screen upon which the illusionary world is projected; the dark room where one sits semi-somnolent and semi-aware, isolated, but surrounded by the presence of others—the situation producing immediate, voyeuristic pleasure much like that of a dream which can later be discarded and disavowed…” – Dan Graham,
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Dan Graham presents
‘THE LICKERISH QUARTET’ – Introduction by Dan Graham
@ Light Industry
155 Freeman St.