Luminous Procuress, dir. Steven Arnold, USA 1971, 74 min., English, 18
Steven Arnold was one of America’s most original visual artists, a ‘queer mystic’ whose art, and life, knew no boundaries in his adopted home town of San Francisco. Luminous Procuress, his only feature, was fêted by Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol, yet was feared lost for years after its low-profile release in 1971. It’s now been found and restored to all its sensuous glory, and this vivid new restoration receives its UK premiere at the ICA.
Luminous Procuress is the missing link between Flaming Creatures and Thundercrack!, an anarchic vision of a sexual utopia where gender is abstract and liberation is absolute. As The Procuress (Pandora) leads two wide-eyed young men through a wonderland of ill repute, female and male interchange and fuse, and pretty much anything goes. It’s a vivid and valuable document of LGBTQ+ history – and it’s never looked better than today.
The screening will be introduced by Mehelli Modi, founder of Second Run – which will release this new restoration.