Luminous Procuress

This 1971 experimental feature reminded me of Jack Smith’s classic underground short Flaming Creatures (1963) with its decadent costumes, copious nudity, and bacchanalian vibe. The film consists mostly of tableau-like scenes of men and women modeling outrageous costumes in equally outrageous settings; occasionally the performers strip their lavish get-ups and engage in hard-core sex. Director Steven Arnold was a protege of Salvador Dalí, whose influence can be felt in some of the film’s bizarre touches (the dialogue is all gibberish), though much of the imagery comes across as secondhand surrealism; in one sequence, a clown giddily cranks a music box while seminude performers traipse across an empty stage.