MOVIE REVIEW: PINK NARCISSUS

By: Gay.com
1.2.2009

Pink Narcissus Even if you've never seen the glorious Pink Narcissus you've probably dreamt about it. A young man excapes from the real world in a sequence of pink satin fantasies--he's a slave chosen by the emperor, a bullfighter, a wood nymph, a harem boy. Pink Narcissus has no story to speak of, but it feels compulsively pacey. Loved for its imaginative eroticism in 1971, it was also derided for campy content ("as many spangles, feathers and gilded costumes as in Ziegfield Follies," protested Parker Tyler, a boy who should know). All these years later, you can begin to see--between the Walter Mitty premise and the Beauty School Drop-Out decor--a passionate intelligence and the spirit of Genet. Pink Narcissus may appear narcissistic (and so what?) but it's also cheekily about narcissism. While Hollywood was grappling with the gloss of gay life--how many nelly queens make a good party?--in Boys in the Band, Pink Narcissus set about scraping at the nitty-gritty. It's all here: caballeros and bike boys; striptease and tearoom sex. Pink Narcissus delves beyond the surface of gay fantasy and finds that there's an expansive two-way mirror underneath.

Pink Narcissus_2 Described by Parker Tyler as a major cult film made with the "heart and will of someone devoted to prick worship and the hermetic myth of an all male fantasy world," Pink Narcissus proved to be the hit of the 1984 New York Gay Film Festival, playing to sold-out crowds. This legendary erotic art film stands as a landmark at the juncture of the gay underground tradition and the porno industry. Seven years in the making, this dreamy surrealist film has been praised for its untarnished poetry and entrancing performance by teenage male beauty Bobby Kendall. Controversy surrounding the original production caused the director Jim Bidgood to go uncredited until 1984.

--Mark Finch
(1971, USA)
Director: Bidgood, Jim
Starring: Bobby Kendall

(Photo: Amazon.com)

Pink Narcissus Even if you've never seen the glorious Pink Narcissus you've probably dreamt about it. A young man excapes from the real world in a sequence of pink satin fantasies--he's a slave chosen by the emperor, a bullfighter, a wood nymph, a harem boy. Pink Narcissus has no story to speak of, but it feels compulsively pacey. Loved for its imaginative eroticism in 1971, it was also derided for campy content ("as many spangles, feathers and gilded costumes as in Ziegfield Follies," protested Parker Tyler, a boy who should know). All these years later, you can begin to see--between the Walter Mitty premise and the Beauty School Drop-Out decor--a passionate intelligence and the spirit of Genet. Pink Narcissus may appear narcissistic (and so what?) but it's also cheekily about narcissism. While Hollywood was grappling with the gloss of gay life--how many nelly queens make a good party?--in Boys in the Band, Pink Narcissus set about scraping at the nitty-gritty. It's all here: caballeros and bike boys; striptease and tearoom sex. Pink Narcissus delves beyond the surface of gay fantasy and finds that there's an expansive two-way mirror underneath.

Pink Narcissus_2 Described by Parker Tyler as a major cult film made with the "heart and will of someone devoted to prick worship and the hermetic myth of an all male fantasy world," Pink Narcissus proved to be the hit of the 1984 New York Gay Film Festival, playing to sold-out crowds. This legendary erotic art film stands as a landmark at the juncture of the gay underground tradition and the porno industry. Seven years in the making, this dreamy surrealist film has been praised for its untarnished poetry and entrancing performance by teenage male beauty Bobby Kendall. Controversy surrounding the original production caused the director Jim Bidgood to go uncredited until 1984.

--Mark Finch
(1971, USA)
Director: Bidgood, Jim
Starring: Bobby Kendall

(Photo: Amazon.com)

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