Liquid Sky, Dir. Slava Tsukerman, USA, 1982, 112 mins
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.
‘At last, after sitting out the DVD and streaming eras, Slava Tsukerman’s 1982 neon-fired New Wave New York alien sex-party punk-disco orgasm-as-revenge proto-electroclash feminist genderfuck is on screens in its finest form, scrubbed and crisp and gorgeous, ready to baffle, disquiet, thrill, and trigger.’ – The Village Voice
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