New York City in the 80s. The downtown Scene of Liquid Sky, with its strangely unmelodic music, unwearable outfits and motionless dancing does indeed seem like Bohemia as imagined by an alien or emigre (or a suburban teen). And, of course, there's models, neon, Eurotrash, drugs, parties, fashion, philosophy, soap opera actors, performance art and multiple wardrobe changes. And, yeah, aliens.
"Delicious, delicious, oh, how boring."
So, our heroine is Margaret, is the classic pretty girl from a good suburban family who has turned into into a warpainted, substance-huffing scenster fashionista/victim. Or, as her girlfriend, Adrian the midget performance artist calls her, "an uptight WASP cunt from Connecticut." Margaret has no comment on being called this. Margaret has no comment on anything: She hasn't given a fuck in so long she's forgotten what giving a fuck even feels like.
neon-bedecked apartment with a view of the Empire State Building. Back when you could afford that sort of thing on a petty drug dealer's salary. Now you'd have to be a real lowlife criminal to pay that kind of rent. Like a stockbroker or something.
Cocteau while he shoots up and sponges off of his girlfriend. The trust fund brat aka that "guy on the dance floor who's offering all the chicks cocaine." The professor who uses pretentiousness as both lure and repellant. The woman who has seen every scam and still falls in blind love with her eyes open. The nasty fashionista who says shit like "Frankly, this bird-of-paradise routine is done every day in Vegas--and better." The slumming Upper East Side matron who is tolerated for her wallet. The drug-huffing ambiguously gendered pretty boy...
Clairol blue-black #124 and he's about half the guys i dated in my twenties. And, well, if it was an actual male, of course. For the hook here is that Anne Carlisle plays both Margaret and her nemesis, Jimmy, the male model.
Tilda Swinton. After this, she went on to flounce through a bit as a transsexual in Crocodile Dundee and a five-minute guest spot on Miami Vice as a stewardess girlfriend of Don Johnson who dies when one of the coke-filled-condoms she's drug-muling ruptures. And a rather odd Liquid Sky-themed Playboy shoot.
get high). Now, consider that Margaret is frigid, but everyone wants to bang her. You can see the passive-very aggressive direction this is going...
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (okay, that was after, but whatever), Liquid Sky is also distinguished by its relentless whistle-screech-ring Fairlight synth soundtrack.The music was composed by director Slava Tsukerman, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Carlisle (And you thought multi-tasking was a millennial thing. You wanna see a holocracy, go to the set of an indie film in the 80s or 90s where everybody just fucking did everything. You'd haul half your apartment to some set somewhere and wind up cooking a mess of beans and rice for two dozen people. You'd rewrite your dialogue and then carry light kits up from the basement in three-inch heels and sequins.)
Liquid Sky remains an incredible time capsule of New York City and the East Village when it was full of intellectuals and artists and punks and weirdos and every now and then a Ukranian granny. Sure, the story is daft, but the plot is really just an excuse for wild outfits, weird dialogue and scenes that trap this moment in time and this particular species of urban hispter on video like prehistoric fossils in amber. Take the climactic photo shoot...
"the most beautiful boy in the world."
One, they're the same person, so ugly and beautiful are illogical. Two, Margaret making "beautiful"--a word that everyone else throws at her--into an insult says something about how powerless being admired for surface can make one feel. And, three, is #2 why she wins this? Well, that and she blows him--and you know what happens when someone gets off around Margaret, who has finally realized that having everyone you fuck dematerialize is kind of an impressive power to have. Also, another fine example of the "go fuck yourself" via drag, as also seen in Female Trouble.