The film was credited to ‘Anonymous’, which led some to think it was by Andy Warhol. Or perhaps Kenneth Anger. The mix of kitsch and beautiful imagery pointed to both. However, they were wrong. For years no one knew who had made Pink Narcissus. This was until the writer Bruce Benderson became obsessed with this subversively erotic film and decided to track down its director - James Bidgood.
Shot on Super-8, Pink Narcissus is a sumptuous film depicting the erotic fantasies of a gay male prostitute (Bobby Kendall), who visualizes himself in various homage to “gay whack-off fantasies”.
Bidgood arrived in New York in 1951. He worked as a female impersonator, hairdresser, set designer and then photographer. Bidgood started taking pix for Adonis and Muscleboy. At first he was disappointed with the results. He told the New York Times:
“There was no art,” Bidgood laments. “They were badly lit and uninteresting. Playboy had girls in furs, feathers and lights. They had faces like beautiful angels. I didn’t understand why boy pictures weren’t like that.”
Bidgood made his own erotic tableaux, which mixed beauty and kitsch. His first Watercolors presented a young man swimming through a fabulous, shimmering grotto—which he built and photographed in his cramped apartment. He told Butt magazine:
“Models were not that easy to find especially for the kind of work I was doing which called for more of the subject’s time than a pose or two wearing less than two square inches of jersey and some elastic and leaning against some fagelas elaborate mantelpiece. In the time I needed to do one shot they could turn ten tricks. And there weren’t all that many great beauties around willing to be photographed nude or semi nude in homoerotic situations. Remember this was before being gay and/or being a ‘male escort’ or pornography, quasi or otherwise, were as acceptable or mainstream as they are now.”
Bidgood created his own distinct style, which later inspired the careers of Pierre et Giles, and David La Chappelle.
Between 1963 and 1971, Bidgood worked on Pink Narcissus. It was shot in his Hell’s Kitchen apartment. Bidgood designed and made the sets, provided the make-up and costume, and used the neighborhood hustlers as his cast. It was an incredible undertaking, and one that eventually led his frustrated backers to take the film from Bidgood and finish it themselves. This was why Bidgood took his name off the finished film.
“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…. I’d take my name off and then they’d go “Mr. Bidgood took his name off because…” But it turns out they kept me in the closet, and all you had to do was ask anybody who’s been in it and they’d say, you know, “Jim did this.” It wasn’t like a big mystery, but you would have thought, and then years later I was ‘outed’.”
Previously on DM
An extremely wild Fritz the Cat style PSA about AIDS awareness set to the tune of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation.” No animals were harmed while making this… I think.
Germany’s Der Spiegel posted a pretty good collection of porn posters from the 70s and 80s with a detailed breakdown of each film. To see more posters, go to Der Spiegel and use Google Translate.
Oh, and here are a few I found amusing:
Flesh Gordon, 1972
More posters after the jump…
Psychic TV’s performance at SXSW was one of the highlights of the festival thus far. Genesis P-Orridge fronted a growling beast of a band that mesmerized a capacity crowd.
Genesis was in town not only to perform but also to attend the Austin premier of a film about her/his life and love affair with partner Lady Jaye. The Ballad Of Genesis and Lady Jaye, directed by Marie Losier, is a moving document of two people attempting to spiritually and physically merge as one. Part performance art and part metaphysical quest, Genesis and Lady Jaye alter their appearance over the course of several years in order to not only look like each other, but to become an entity beyond duality, a form of alchemy utilizing flesh and soul, creating their pandrogyne.
Losier’s direction of the film evokes the experimental movies of the 60s. Shooting with an old Bolex, Losier creates a mystical and dreamlike vision that seems to flutter at the borders of consciousness, a grainy living thing. Some of the footage recalls the look of Warhol’s Factory films and the work of Jonas Mekas. At the heart of the movie is the romance of two deeply committed lovers, but Losier also explores the many layers of Genesis’s art, from Pyschic TV to Throbbing Gristle to books written and archival documents from P-Orridge’s past. It’s a fascinating life lived on the edge of always becoming.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: vocals, violin
Edley ODowd: drums, samples
Alice Genese: bass, backing vocals
Jeff ‘Bunsen’ Berner: guitar
Jess Stewart: keyboards
Here’s Psychic TV at SXSW creating a dark and beautiful roar.
Watch it in high definition.
Okay, my mind was pretty much blown by The Justice League XXX trailer. With a storyline of “When a great evil threatens porn’s very existence, The Justice League of Porn Stars Heroes comes together to battle The Legion of Poon”... what could go wrong?
The sheath of certain erotic death.
Kiss Kondoms are made from premium latex and meet all the highest international standards for testing and reliability. However, one look at these revolutionary rubbers and you’ll quickly see that using a KISS Kondom is the surest way to Rock and Roll All Nite long!”
Daniel Craig as the international symbol of machismo, James Bond, goes through a dramatic transformation to help send a message about the inequalities that exist between men and women.
Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood and scripted by Jane Goldman, the video Equals was created for the Equals partnership, a coalition of charities brought together by Annie Lennox to celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day on March 8th.
“Together we’re stepping up the call for an equal world. And we want you to join us.”
The voice-over is Dame Judi Dench reprising her role as “M.”
Hippies,beatniks, go go dancers and acidheads let it all hang out in a psychedelic group grope set to the now sounds of the new generation. Mature audiences only.
“What Goes On” (live) - The Velvet Underground
“Cellophane Woman” - Sopwith Camel
“Help You Ann’ - The Lyres
“Time Machine” - Satori
“Roller Girl” - Anna Karina
“She Has Funny Cars” - The Jefferson Airplane
“I Haven’t Got The Nerve” - The Left Banke
“Sally I Do” - Abdullah’s Regime
“Hold Me Now” - The Rumors
“Mona” - The Pleasures
Break out the Kama Sutra oil, the Nepalese Temple Balls and the Nag Champa incense and get ready to freak out!