music friday: jorma kaukonen
film fatales #53: captain marvel (anna boden and ryan fleck, 2019)

liquid sky (slava tsukerman, 1982)

Some cult movies earn the label over time by an audience that creates the cult status. Others are purposely cult movies, odd, aggressively different. Liquid Sky is the latter. A hit on the festival circuit, Liquid Sky is the story of aliens from outer space who are attracted to heroin, until they find out what they need from the opiate is better supplied by humans having orgasms. Of course, the plot takes a back seat to ambiance, visuals, androgyny, and a punk subculture that listens to experimental synth music. It's something of a kitchen sink approach, but there is always something going on, even if at times that something seems pointless.

Anne Carlisle stars in a dual role, and she does a fine job as both the female lead and a male counterpart who, everyone notices, looks a lot like the female. The rest of the acting, though, is highly variable ... in some cases, I felt like I was watching something headed for MST3K.

Usually, I appreciate the effort in movies like this, without actually liking them very much. And Tsukerman, Carlisle, and Nina V. Kerova, who co-wrote the screenplay, are ambitious and unafraid to put their ideas out there. Truth is, I liked Liquid Sky more than I usually do with obscure cult movies. It's a wonderland for fans of neon.

 

Comments

JPK

Hey, is this one of my requests? I remember I gave you a big list once but haven't been able to find it for a while. I almost included Liquid Sky in my FB top 50 (down in the 40s of course) but chickened out after looking at it again. Too disjointed and amateurish. But I still love a lot of things about it: how little the aliens are (the flying saucers are like pie tins), Carlisle's Connecticut soliloquy, the general unrelentingly weirdness, the buzzy synths soundtrack. Delicious, delicious!

Steven Rubio

I keep records :-). Here are the movies I have on my "Jeff requested this" list:

Berlin Alexanderplatz, The Mother and the Whore, A Prairie Home Companion, Suspiria (1977), Southland Tales, Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

The first two are the last of your FB 50 that I haven't yet seen. I've actually watched more Jeff Requests than I have for anyone else, and that's out of 19 requesters.

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