Eighty-one-year-old James Bidgood, who has been described as one of the founding voices of queer culture and a shining star of the gay movement, needs your help. The beyond brilliant, beyond iconic director of Pink Narcissus is trying to raise $35,000 through indie.gogo for a digital camera and the materials to build the worlds he envisions in his mind. I implore you: Watch the video to get an idea of who this man is and what he’s done. The breathtaking beauty and influence of Pink Narcissus lives on today in the photos of David LaChappelle, Pierre et Giles, and the fashions of Jean Paul Gaultier. That he shot that movie over the course of seven years (from 1963 to 1970) IN HIS LIVING ROOM, without digital effects, using just the stage props he made, speaks to his brilliance and dedication to his art. And at 81, he still feels he has something to contribute to the world. Let’s help him do it!
Says Bidgood’s indie.gogo page:
This is my new exploration. I believe there are people out there that do not think a man is over with at my age. Most teenagers could not put in as many hours as I do. I am betting on there being people who know that this is the most productive and informed time of life for a person such as myself. I still have so many pretty good ideas in one day I have been criticized for having too many.
But there is an added advantage…. I have acquired… accumulated over the years…. the knowledge how to achieve my vision whatever it might be. The first photos I took… never having been to any photography school were of a sea nymph swimming in his underwater fantasy world and it was shot in my front room. There were nothing but naysayers then. They all laughed when I sat down at the piano …but when I played!!!!
And so despite the doubters that still surround me with warning after warning, I am asking for your help to rise again above their protests and to prove to some small part of the world that neither age, nor fear of failure and being stored away in some home for the poor and elderly, nor any amount of good sense and despite how humble my circumstances ….dreams can still be made into realities.
What sensible person would have thought they could make a man appear to be swimming through an underwater MGM set in their living room…before computers…before anyone even considered something like photoshop?
One more thought.. Naturally I am not implying I am in the same league however Frank Lloyd Wright did some of his greatest work in his late 80s… and Betty White is still hot in Cleveland and being nominated for and winning Emmy awards.
Images from Pink Narcissus:
Also, just for fun, check out this adorably bawdy video of James describing his experience as an extra on the set of Love is Strange.