Frameline47: Old Narcissus

  • Japanese old man with a shoehorn squeezed between his lips looks in the camera

In this classic fable of “elderly children’s book author meets BDSM sex worker,” writer/director Tsuyoshi Shôji tells the melancholic (and erotic) story of two vastly different queer men coming together at a turning point in their lives. Yamazaki (Taijiro Tamura) is an aging writer who is unable to face the decay of not only his body, but his place in society. Leo (Atomu Mizuishi) is a sex worker paralyzed by the monotony of his day-to-day life.

When Yamazaki hires Leo, at first he only seems to represent everything he has lost: youth, beauty, health, and meaning. But as their bond grows closer, and a bridge between generations is formed, he realizes that they may not be so different after all. With colorful imagery that mixes the surreal with the erotic, Old Narcissus uses the complicated history of queer rights in Japan as the backdrop for a constantly surprising tale of gay life and cultural taboos.

Presented as part of Frameline47 International Film Festival.

1h 50m
Tsuyoshi Shôji
Japanese with English subtitles
First Showing
June 18, 2023