'Pink Narcissus' is an erotic film of great beauty and artistry. I was first made aware of it by reviews which likened James Bidgood's only film to the works of Kenneth Anger, Jean Genet and Andy Warhol. Nothing, however, could prepare me for the actual viewing of the film.
The central character, played by Bobby Kendall, has constructed a fantasy world of extreme beauty he escapes to on a regular basis. The beauty of this world is of such a nature that the viewer is sucked into it and hypnotized, and consequently the introduction of what goes on outside of his window is truly shocking, with beggars and 'ordinary' citizens appearing almost deformed and monstrous in their lack of refinement.
Despite some of the reviews I've read, I thought there was more than enough of Kendall's physique on display, although in a film such as this it quickly becomes apparent that less is definitely more. A film such as this activates certain parts of the brain made dormant by our demanding culture with its fast-food mentality, and I really didn't want to leave the gem encrusted tunnel I had been surrounded by for 70 minutes after watching it.
There are so many more aspects to this film to discuss. The sets Bidgood designed are truly spectacular, and it's hard to believe that most of it, including the outdoor scenes, were all shot in his 'tiny' apartment. At the end of 'Pink Narcissus' I was saddened that the film was credited to Anonymous, and I couldn't help but wonder what the result would have been if Bidgood had released and edited it himself.