Wet Dreams May Come

Now it can be told. For years, mystery shrouded the auteurship of the notorious gay cult film Pink Narcissus, released anonymously in 1971, emerging out of nowhere as one of the last gasps of the heroic age of underground cinema. Coincident with the distribution of a restored print and the publication of a book on the film's director, "Anonymous" has now been revealed as theatrical costume designer and male-physique photographer James Bidgood, who shot his ardent masturbation fantasy over a period of seven years in his small Manhattan apartment. It was apparently not fear of censorship or legal hassles that had removed him from the credits. Bidgood maintains that the producer took the film away from him during editing, and butchered it; furious, he refused to leave his name on it.

Details

Pink Narcissus
Written and directed by James Bidgood
A Strand release
At the Screening Room
December 24 through 30

Pink is the nonstop dialogueless soft-porn wet dream of a young narcissist, played by Bobby Kendall, a pouty teen cutie-pie with pulpy, inexpressive features and an expressive bubble butt. There's no plot to speak of. Kendall travels through a series of role-playing vignettes with a lineup of equally shapely young dudes, imagines himself a matador taming a bull (in the form of a leather-clad biker), as the slave of a Roman emperor, as a harem boy lolling in a sheikh's tent. Well, you name it. The late great Charles Ludlam appears all too briefly during a highly stylized Times Square sequence. Viewing this claustrophobic film, bathed throughout in gaudy hues of purple, gold, and azure blue, you feel as if you've been trapped for 70 minutes—not unpleasantly—inside a Bloomingdale's show window dressed by Pierre and Gilles. Although the material is stretched more than a bit thin, it's a work of considerable charm, an indisputably personal vision.

 
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