Art or Porn?: Filmmakers Who Tested the Limits

These films were censored for obscenity when they first screened. Now they are shown at museums and on YouTube.

BY Christopher Harrity

August 01 2014 3:00 AM ET

James Bidgood's Pink Narcissus
This is essentially a magic-realist ode to a handsome male prostitute (Bobby Kendall). Incredibly visual, and deeply campy Kendall's character fantasizes about himself in different exotic locations and sexual situations. Shot on 8mm film, mostly in Bidgood's tiny East Village apartment — including the awesome outdoor scenes — it took seven years to produce, from 1963 to 1970. When it was finally released it was against Bidgood's wishes, and so it was credited as "anonymous."  In the mid-1990s, writer Bruce Benderson, who was obsessed with the film, began a search for its maker based on several leads and finally verified that it was Bidgood, who was still living in Manhattan and was working on a film script. In 1999, a wonderfully produced book researched and written by Benderson was published by Taschen about Bidgood's body of photographic and filmic work.



Tags: film

AddThis

READER COMMENTS ()

Quantcast