Northern Banner Releasing
Canada’s film provocateur tackles the theme of erotic narcissism in the ambitious rural gothic and Venice Festival favourite
A film by Bruce LaBruce
Opens for a one-week engagement (remember those days?):
September 17. 2021 – Vancity Theatre (Vancouver)
September 24. 2021 – Cineplex Cinema Varsity (Toronto)
Dominic is 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 of Saint-Narcisse, a visit to “his” tiny grave, and a reunion with his reputedly witchy mother Beatrice and Irene, the young woman with whom she shares her rustic life.
Soon Dominic experiences another revelation. He has a twin, who is a tormented novitiate at a nearby monastery. It is erotic self-love at first sight.
Saint-Narcisse 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.
Saint-Narcisse, which won the Graffetta d’Oro for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, stars Félix-Antoine Duval in the dual roles of Dominic and the young monk Daniel. Tania Kontoyanni plays Beatrice, while Alexandra Petrachuk plays Irene, a young woman the villagers swear has never aged.
Capping the list of formidable actors is Andreas Apergis, who plays the deranged Father Andrew, a cleric of the Order who believes Daniel was sent to him as the reincarnation of the martyred St. Sebastien to be, “a bride of Christ.”
The narrative and thematic mix of seriousness, transgressive sexuality and humour, is quintessentially Bruce LaBruce, a filmmaker who has been both lauded at film festivals (Venice, Sundance) and banned by them (The Melbourne International Film Festival).
LaBruce says his working title for Saint-Narcisse 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.”
Financial Support + Distribution
Saint-Narcisse received financial support from CBC Films, Telefilm, and SODEC. The film is produced by Nicolas Comeau of 1976 Productions and Paul Scherzer of Six Island Productions.
Saint-Narcisse releases in English Canada by Northern Banner Releasing, A-Z Films will handle Quebec, and Film Movement will take care of the U.S.
Northern Banner Releasing is Raven Banner Entertainment’s specialty distribution arm focused on award-winning independent films.