Luminous Procuress (1972) Steven Arnold

Luminous Procuress (1972)

Genre: Surreal
Director: Steven Arnold
Country: USA
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Length: 73mn
File: Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 640x480 - 25fps - 1.45gb

Salvador Dalí considered Luminous Procuress ‘a work of genius’. Featuring members of legendary San Francisco performance troupe The Cockettes, the film was directed by the artist and filmmaker Steven Arnold, a muse and model of Dalí's. Dalí always referred to Arnold as his 'prince', and allegedly co-produced (or at least partly funded) the film, for which he held an elaborate screening at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. Andy Warhol and numerous luminaries of New York society attended the spectacular event, and Dalí projected the film upside down, backwards and sideways. The Village Voice called the film ‘a tour de force of the imagination – a journey through peekboxes of naked tableaux, theatres of mechanical dreams, feasts of monsters and piles of humanity.’

...his first feature, Luminous Procuress is an altogether extraordinary, individualistic phantasmagoria. It was filmed entirely in San Francisco over a two-year period, and describes the adventures of two wandering youths in San Francisco who visit the home of a mysterious woman, the Procuress. She is an elegant emblem of sorcery, her vivid features glowing under bizarre, striking maquillage, and one is not certain who she is or where she intends to lead the protagonists. Although the language she speaks is vaguely Russian, it appears that the Procuress has psychic powers. She discerns a sympathetic response to her on the part of the youths, and by magical means, conducts them through fantastic rooms, on a psychic journey. Through strange passageways, one voyages with the Procuress and her charges, glimpsing hidden nightmares and panoplied chambers of revelry, where celebrants, ornately festooned, dance and make love before unseen gods. The youths are soon drawn into the sensuality of the Procuress’ spellbound kingdom, and one is reminded of the sorceress-neighbor to Guilietta in Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits. Only here, in Arnold’s film, the spectator is a willing participant in some unspeakably attractive but menacing ecstasy. The sexes become androgynous and one remains entranced by the wonder of such a film as Luminous Procuress.

There is much unknown surrounding the making of LUMINOUS PROCURESS. The first and most important fact is that Steven Arnold was removed from further involvement in the film once the shooting was done. The five backers of the film decided that there would be no further progress on the film with Steven unable to make editing decisions. They were anxious for the film to be finished and enlisted Victor Barberi and I to edit the film as I made the score for it. It took Victor and I about a year to accomplish this. I big problem that the backers and I immediately found was that the dialogue was useless; it was badly written, badly acted, badly recorded, with the sound of the trolley buses outside the studio mixed with the voices. I suggested replacing the dialogue with foreign voices. It took me about a year to compose the score, bringing it in piecemeal to work with Barberi to decide how and where the scenes and music would go.


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