Introduction by Radley Metzger on August 8.
Metzger considers this enigmatic tale of a decadent family’s seduction his “most personal and most free” film. Based on an original story idea by Metzger and Michael DeForrest, The Lickerish Quartet opens with a quote by Pirandello (“All this present reality of yours is fated to seem a mere illusion tomorrow”). An aristocratic married couple and their son attend a carnival after watching a crude black-and-white skinflick and recognize a female motorcycle stunt rider in a form-fitting white leather outfit as one of the women in the film. The girl accepts an invitation to their grand Italian castle, but when they show her the film, there is no longer any resemblance between the blonde on-screen and their gorgeous brunette guest—but the next morning she has become a blonde. As the girl seduces each family member in turn, liberating them from their repressed states, illusion merges with reality. Metzger’s most distinctive and most beguilingly unconventional film, regarded by many as his magnum opus, and declared “an outrageously kinky masterpiece” by Andy Warhol.