Reviews: Is Bruce LaBruce’s Saint-Narcisse Too Sexy for the Screen?

Bruce LaBruce is an avant-garde filmmaker whom only a cineaste (and non-conservative) can appreciate.

Bruce LaBruce is an avant-garde filmmaker whom only a cineaste (and non-conservative) can appreciate. He’ll dare to explore the queer side of life, and be very explicit about it. Some film institutions will consider his works as ‘high art’ but others will outright call it pornography. His latest, Saint-Narcisse, is considered the most mainstream to date. 

This film is about Dominic (Félix-Antoine Duval ), a recklessly promiscuous young man, haunted by visions of a dark cloaked figure. He is a man with a past, who doesn’t yet know what that past is. But then he learns his long-lost mother is alive, and that he had mysteriously been given up for dead at birth, what follows is a motorcycle trip to the sleepy village in Quebec.

Saint-Narcisse (the name of the town) is Bruce LaBruce’s darkly tongue-in-cheek take on the Greek myth of Narcissus, set in 1972 with thematic echoes of a rural gothic film like Midsommar. The smaller the village, the darker its secrets. 

One real life reveal is in the working title during filming. LaBruce says it was, “Twin-cest. I like to address issues of taboo and fetish. I previously made Gerontophilia which was about a fetish for the elderly. And I like to look for the human component and romances in these fetishes that are often dismissed as strange or disgusting.

“And narcissism is both everywhere these days and still not really talked about. I set out to make a cheeky, not exactly faithful retelling of the Narcissus myth. I set it in the ‘70s because it was a time when it would have seemed strange to compulsively take pictures of yourself as Dominic does. Today, what was bizarre would seem perfectly normal.”

Opens at
Vancity Theatre

1181 Seymour St
Vancouver, BC

Sept 17. 2021 –  for one-week engagement

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