PINK NARCISSUS (1971) Photo – 2


[New York]: Sherpix, 1971. Vintage original 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white print photo, fine.

Classic and very early gay underground movie.

“Between visits from his keeper (or John) a handsome male prostitute (Bobby Kendall), alone in his apartment, lounges, fantasizing about worlds where he is the central character. For example, he pictures himself as a matador, 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.

“The film is mostly shot on 8mm 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 director James Bidgood’s small New York City apartment over a seven-year period (1963-70). It was ultimately released without the consent of the director, who therefore had himself credited as Anonymous. He stated in an interview, ‘See, why I took my name off of it was that I was protesting, which I’d heard at the time that’s what you did…’

“Because the name of the filmmaker was not widely known, there were rumors that Andy Warhol was behind it. 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 by Taschen about Bidgood’s body of photographic and filmic work.

“Bidgood’s unmistakably kitschy style was later imitated and refined by artists such as Pierre et Gilles.” (Wikipedia)

The tiny cast included the legendary Charles Ludlam. This film barely received a theatrical release, and so any original American paper from it is really rare.

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