Page 38 - Catalog 46 | 2020
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21. PINK NARCISSUS [ピンクナルシス] (1971; 1993)
[Tokyo]: Stance Company, [1993].Vintage original 29 x 20 (73 x 51 cm.) Japanese poster. Unfolded, fine. Original poster from the film’s first Japanese release. PINK NARCISSUS had a miniscule U.S. release in 1971 (it briefly played at two theaters in Manhattan). I can find no record of it also being shown in Los Angeles. No contemporary American posters for the film have to date ever surfaced.
The film visualizes the erotic fantasies of a gay male sex worker. Between visits from his keeper, or john, a handsome male prostitute (Bobby Kendall) lounges alone in his apartment, fantasiz- ing about worlds where he is the central charac- ter. For example, he pictures himself as a mata- dor, a Roman slave boy and the emperor who condemns him, and the keeper of a male harem for whom another male performs a belly dance.
In the mid-1990s, writer Bruce Benderson began a search for its maker based on several leads and finally verified that it was James Bidgood, who was still living in Manhattan and was working on
a film script. In 1999, a book researched and written by Benderson was published byTaschen about Bidgood’s body of photographic and filmic work. Bidgood’s unmistakably kitschy style has later been imitated and refined by artists such as Pierre et Gilles.
The film is mostly shot on 8 mm film with bright, otherworldly lighting and intense colors. Aside from its last, climactic scene, which was shot in a downtown Manhattan loft, it was produced in its entirety (including outdoor scenes) in Bidgood’s small NewYork City apartment over a seven-year (from 1963 to 1970) period.

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