The Lickerish Quartet (1970) [Full BluRay]
Full BluRay 1:1 | 1080p MPEG-4 AVC @ 18983 Kbps | 01:27:46 | 22,85 Gb
Audio: English AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps + Commentary track | Subs: None
Genre: Drama | Italy, USA, West Germany
Filmed in the breathtaking Castle of Balsorano in Italy's Abruzzi Mountains, 'The Lickerish Quartet' finds three people obsessed with a erotic film--a film that features a striking young blonde woman. When the three--a man, his elegant wife and her hungry-for-experience son--accidentally happen upon the young performer at a local carnival and invite her back to their castle, they fulfill their fantasies in the seduction of the mysterious young woman.
Master of sophisticated sexploitation Radley Metzger directed this elegant and thoughtful erotic drama. A wealthy... and jaded couple living in a palatial Italian villa (Erika Remberg and Frank Wolff) spend an evening watching pornographic films with their adult son (Paolo Turco). Looking for a change of scenery, the family visits a carnival where they see a stuntwoman performing tricks on a motorcycle. When she removes her helmet, they're surprised to discover that the stunt rider appears to be one of the stars of the film they watched earlier, except that her blonde hair has turned dark. They invite her back to the villa, only to find out that the images in the film seem to have changed, and the face of the woman onscreen is no longer recognizable. Eventually, the strange woman begins to interact sexually with the mother, father, and son as they walk a fine line between reality and illusion. As with most of his work, the American-born Metzger shot this film in Europe with cinematographer Hans Jura, whose rich color images add immeasurably to this film's impact.
Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
The New York Times Vincent Canby called director Radley Metzger’s film THE LICKERISH QUARTET “Beautiful! Ripe with incredible color, décor and movement” in the newspaper’s 1970 review. At the film’s premiere in New York Andy Warhol raved that it was “An outrageously kinky masterpiece” and recommended all to “Go!” see it. The film remains one of the first ever to feature elegantly shot sex scenes together with Hollywood type production values. It raised the bar for the portrayal of eroticism in film while still maintaining an R rating. THE LICKERISH QUARTET is Radley Metzger’s magnum opus, a delirious surreal erotic fantasy that is both stylish and elegant.
The line between serious art-house cinema and erotica has often been a little blurred, especially when it came to American companies that, in the 1960s and early 1970s, sought out European imports with a "classy" approach to skin and sexuality, from Brigitte Bardot romps to freewheeling explorations of the sexual revolution in films like I, A Woman and I Am Curious (Yellow). "It's not pornography, it's art," was the implicit argument, even if it was the sex that the exhibitors marketed.
Radley Metzger knew the form well. Before making his success as a director, he imported sexy European releases through his company Audubon and would dub, recut and sometimes even add footage to t hem. When he embarked on directing his own erotic films, his model remained the continental class of European films, with its visual elegance, social sophistication and artful photography, rather than the exploitive energy of American nudies and drive-in exploitations. And he chose to shoot his films in Europe, where he could secure lavish locations for his productions at a relative bargain and cast experienced, attractive performers who weren't shy about undressing for the camera or engaging in (tastefully) erotic scenes.
The Lickerish Quartet (1970) was the first of Metzger's films branded with the X-rating (even though it features no explicit or hardcore footage) because of its nudity and sexuality. It's also his most conceptually ambitious and intellectually challenging film and, by his own admission, his most personal. It signals its ambitions from the opening quote from Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author" ("All this present reality of yours is fated to seem mere illusion tomorrow") and then plunges us into the games of a family of jaded aristocrats. Metzger cuts Pirandello's cast down to four: the sarcastic man of villa (Frank Wolff), his wife (Erika Remberg), and her son (Paolo Turco), a mannered intellectual constantly mocked by his step-father. (The fourth arrives later.) They have no names, fitting for a film where identity becomes so fluid.
While there's a tendency to over-praise The Lickerish Quartet for its melding of the erotic and the intellectual, it's also easy to underestimate it. Metzger has ambitions to raise erotica to the kind of cinema that Alain Resnais created in films like Last Year At Marienbad and Hiroshima, Mon Amour but his dramatic execution is Psych 101 by way of sexual therapy. Yet it's clever, handsome and inventively directed, an erotic romp as European art movie: playful, smart, ripe, sensuous and very, very sexy. As the dialogue reminds us, "Don't take it so seriously. It's only a movie."
Excerpt from Turner Classic Movies Review
• Commentary by Michael Bowen + Radley Metzger
• The Making of the Lickerish Quartet (11:17)
• Cool. Version Love Scenes (31:50)
• Giving Voice to the Quartet (12:52)
• Score Trailer (3:38)
• Camille 2000 Trailer (2:16)
• Lickerish Quartet Trailer (2:45)