Exploding out of San Francisco’s vibrant late-60s counter-culture, Luminous Procuress is a psychedelic odyssey of unabashed hedonism. The only feature film by artist, mystic and polymath Steven Arnold, the film celebrates gender-fluidity and pan-sexuality in a voyeuristic phantasmagorical journey towards spiritual ecstasy.
Often compared to the works of Fellini, Jack Smith and Kenneth Anger, and featuring the outrageous talents of the avant garde drag troupe The Cockettes, as well as artist ruth weiss, Luminous Procuress was an underground sensation upon release but disappeared from circulation for many years. Now fully restored in all its sensuous glory, Luminous Procuress’ subversive delights are ready to be discovered anew.
Luminous Procuress is presented from a glorious new 2K restoration and makes its world premiere on Blu-ray.
Our edition also includes an exclusive new interview with producer Harry Tsvi Strauch, curator Steve Seid on the history and preservation of Luminous Procuress - plus a booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Elena Gorfinkel and writing by Steve Seid.
• Presented from the new 2K restoration of the fully uncut version of the film by the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), and the Cinema Preservation Alliance.
• Newly-filmed interview with producer Harry Tsvi Strauch discussing the film and director Steven Arnold.
• Curator and author Steve Seid on the history and preservation of Luminous Procuress.
• 24-page booklet featuring an essay by Steve Seid and new writing by film scholar/critic Elena Gorfinkel.
• World premiere release on Blu-ray.
• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C).
Directed by Steven Arnold
Written by Steven Arnold, Steven Solberg
Editor - Victor Barber
Set Design - Skosh, Todd Trexler
aided by Syd Dutton and Ira Yeager
Music and Voices - Warner Jepson
Costume Design - Scott Runyon
Make-up - Koelle
Hair creations - Nikki Nichols
Executive producers - Harry Tsvi Strauch, Hyla Deer
Stills © Ingeborg Gerdes
“The most scandalous American avant-garde movie of its time. It may also have been the most influential”
Jim Hoberman, New York Times
“An extraordinary, fantastic film” Salvador Dalí
“A head trip... a West Coast Satyricon”
Molly Haskell, Village Voice
“A lush, richly textured Bosch-like collage of languid sensuality, Luminous Procuress resembles Fellini Satyricon and those two underground classics, Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures and Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome [...] it is a celebration rather than an exploitation of pan-sexuality, more exotic than erotic [...] It is a strangely compelling, highly imaginative work of unabashed hedonism, best appreciated by devotees of the avant-garde”
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, June 1972
“A singular force in the American underground, Steven F. Arnold (1943-1994) transformed the landscapes of film, photography, set and costume design with a visionary approach to his craft” Huck magazine
“An altogether extraordinary, individualistic phantasmagoria. [...] one remains entranced by the wonder of such a film as Luminous Procuress”
San Francisco International Film Festival, 1971
“Luminous Procuress also sits atop a queer and polymorphous alternative cinema that had but a few entries at the time” Steve Seid
“A gender-obliterating funfest unleashed by the cantankerous cross-dressing Cockettes, the legendary Luminous Procuress brazenly recounts the mystical passage of two lissome hippie lads who enter a strange mansion where a magic potion promises glimpses of a transformational realm. Led by the mystical ‘Procuress’ (the ever-sculptural Pandora), the two naïfs are privy to a delirious vision of consciousness unbounded by gender or desire. Created in San Francisco’s Mission District by Steven Arnold, an art outlier of prophetic leanings, Luminous Procuress, an exotic amalgam of outrageous wearable art, oneiric imagery, and erotically charged tableaux, gloriously drags on” Diego Villalobos