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Smooth Operator: The Opulent Eroticism of Radley Metzger

Camille 2000 (1969)
June 2, 2011 -
June 17, 2011
filmmaker Radley Metzger (6/2 and 6/3); actress Lynn Lowry (6/17).

American independent film pioneer Radley Metzger emerged in the mid-1960s as the master of art house erotica. It was a genre and a market that Metzger practically invented when he distributed the Danish Essy Persson shocker I, A Woman in the U.S. in 1965, using the proceeds to produce and direct his own films. With a cinematic sensibility influenced by Max Ophuls and Orson Welles, Metzger turned to literary classics for his inspiration—Pirandello, Dumas, Mérimée—updating their themes of desire and seduction for contemporary audiences and bringing them to sensual life with opulent production design and exquisite photography. In films such as Therese and Isabelle (1968), Camille 2000 (1969) and The Lickerish Quartet (1970), Metzger captured the zeitgeist of the swinging era. As changing cultural tastes have lessened the scandalizing nature of his eroticism—although films such as Score (1972) and The Image (1975) remain transgressive today—Metzger’s uncompromising visual style and impeccable flare for the music, fashion and design of the moment remain as indelible as ever. The Archive is pleased to present a five-night retrospective of Metzger’s key works, many in new, digital restorations in celebration of the Blu-ray release of his quintessential classic, Camille 2000, by Cult Epics on June 28.

Special thanks to: Radley Metzger, Audubon Films; Nico B., Cult Epics.

FREE Admission on June 3! After the screening, party like the Jet Set in the Hammer Museum courtyard with a cash bar, DJ and lots of surprises!