On Bruce LaBruce’s Saint-Narcisse (2020)

by Jacqueline Valencia

Dominic and Daniel (both played by Felix-Antoine Duval) are twins who have been separated at birth. Their mother is a witch who lives in the woods with her much younger lover. Dominic was believed to be dead and his brother Daniel’s existence was only speculated. In a strange turn of events, Dominic and Daniel meet and suddenly everything makes sense.

The compelling thing about about Bruce LaBruce films is that using 70s pornography and compelling camp acting, it all seems to work into an entertaining visual romp. The cinematography grasps the atmospheric (in the city), to the pastoral, (in the woods), to the restrictive, (a strict and abusive monastery Daniel was raised and lives in). It all maintains on consistency of quiet between these spaces that focuses the extreme sexual tension of everyone in every scene and the fact that this is all happening in almost sacred spaces to all. When the twins eventually meet, it’s incestuous and perverse, but under the clever modern guise of self-love. The audience is prepared for it to happen, but it’s the boundary breaking journey, full of Christian iconography and radical queerness, that makes it compelling.

I find Bruce LaBruce entertaining because I always find new things in a re-watch. I expect to find so much more in this one. Just give me a bit.



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