I guess no one will ever really search for this, but I wanted to put this up as an interest piece after watching a film review of a movie clearly made by a narcissist.
What actually happens when a narcissist actually makes a film? What does the outcome look like when a full blown narcissist is actually given full reign to make a film as he, in their grandiose self image, sees fit?
The results are usually pretty horrendous, and cringy, but in a very funny way for the rest of us observing them. Narcissist film-makers, if allowed to make their movies without any kind of reality check, can produce some really comically terrible films.
Here’s some common traits of films made by narcissists:
- Often starring themselves in prominent roles as a perfect, flawless character who can do no wrong.
- Ridiculously and embarassingly pompous and self-aggrandizing.
- Embraces and projects silly world-views
- Delusional and full of nonsense.
- A delusional sense of the film’s importance and meaning.
- Often terribly written, edited, acted and directed if they were involved in these roles.
But let’s get started with a couple of actual examples to show clearly what it looks like!
Example #1 – Michael Flatley in Blackbird (2022)
This is a particularly funny example I just found. I had previously only known Michael Flatley as a tap-dancing icon, but he’s actually voyaged into film-making as well, and boy did this reveal his narcissistic tendencies if the dancing already didn’t!
Check out his latest film Blackbird, actually filmed in 2018 but released for all to see in 2022. It’s meant to be an crime action film/thriller, and it’s funded, written, produced, directed by and starring the man himself. In other words, he has his hand in all the major parts of the film creation. It’s pretty much 100% his own work, with no real input or direction from anyone else.
And it’s terrible.
See here for a brief but funny skewering of it by an Irish film journalist:
Blackbird 3 min review – 1 star film (terrible)
“Michael Flatley actually said ‘I don’t watch a whole lot of films’, and boy, does it show. The only good thing you can about this is that the cameras were all facing the right way, and the sound was on….At the press screening, people were laughing”
Brian Lloyd – film journalist
Enough said really. It’s meant to be a crime thriller, not a comedy, but it’s so bad viewers treated it like a comedy (ouch, that’s a blow of narcissistic injury to a narcissist’s ego).
This has all the hall-marks of a film written, produced and starring a narcissist, with zero reality-checks or moderating influences to bring him back down to earth with his grandiose self-delusions. It’s what happens when a narcissist has full control of a movie, to the point where there’s no one who can tell him what a piece of trash it is, and to go away and re-write something better once he’s grown up.
If you want a longer skewering of the film, check out this great review by film critic Mark Kermode (he rates it as one of the worst movies he’s ever seen, and he’s seen lots of bad movies):
Longer review of Blackbird (Mark Kermode)
Here’s are some screaming red flags of Flatley’s narcissism that come from the film:
- It looks to be an entirely self-contained production – Flatley doing everything, funding, writing, directing, starring. Not a good start for a narcissist – he’s the sole directing voice and no one else can point out how terrible it actually is.
- Terrible, wooden acting and dialogue from Flatley. It’s just not very well written or acted!
- Flatley’s Victor Blackley character has the delusional qualities that only a narcissist could write – women throw themselves at him, he beats up men much bigger than him effortlessly. He’s perfect and flawless, and can do things no other man can do, like any narcissist sees themself!
- Everything’s glib and all about appearance not substance. Cast as super-intelligent, super-suave, super slick, always well dressed, but acting is actually terrible.
- Like any narcissist, Flatley’s view of himself is completely at odds with reality – the writing is dreadful, his acting embarrassing and he’s a totally ordinary, wooden, un-charismatic screen presence.
- Despite all this, Flatley appears to 100% believe in the film, and promoted it at premieres etc. like it was truly a decent film! Typical delusion and denial of a narcissist.
I could go on, but I’ll just round off with a quote from Mark Kermode that sums of the narcissism surrounding this film:
“This film could only have existed, if the same person wrote, directed, produced, starred in it. Because if you were in a room with other people and you showed them a scene from this movie, unless you were paying their wages, there’s no way they wouldn’t go ‘I’m sorry, you cannot put that in the cinema. You just can’t. Don’t let that out into the world. Keep it on your own mobile phone, for your own personal viewing. If you want to sit at home for a half hour of self aggrandizing relaxation. Do not show this to other people’
It is one of the worst movies I have ever seen”
Mark Kermode – film critic
I found this funny, because it’s one of those rare examples of what happens a narcissist has total, unfiltered, un-moderated control over every aspect of a film. We get a rare glimpse of the infantile, self-regarding twoddle that actually goes on in a narcissist’s mind!
“In a way, it is amazing that Flatley is able to fulfil a 12-year-old boy’s fantasy of being a secret agent, with a 12-year-old’s idea of what a secret agent actually does. ”
John Bradshaw – see here
Normally, there’s at least one person higher up the chain who delivers the necessary harsh words about how bad a film is, and tells them to go back and produce something that isn’t so terrible. But because Blackbird was entirely self funded from Flatley, he lacked that filter, and it actually made it out into the world for all to see!
This is only one example, but I’m planning to fill this post up with more examples – next, I was thinking of Madonna’s W.E from 2012. Contact me with any more suggestions you have of terrible films clearly made by narcissists who haven’t had the cruel truth broken to them of how terrible it is!