It's difficult to live in Los Angeles and not succumb to that disease known as narcissism, particularly as a gay man whose ego has been fed on a steady diet of prospective fucks. In Eric Casaccio's short film, aptly titled Narcissist, the psychosis of the typical vain bear is explored with the dexterous ease of someone who's all too familiar with the tale.
In the opening scene, we meet Evan (Hunter Lee Hughes), an affable man who is blind-sided when his long-term boyfriend, Rob (Brionne Davis), breaks up with him over video chat--or rather, Rob's new boyfriend breaks up with Evan over video chat. Feeling vulnerable and depressed after such an unexpected blow (no pun intended), Evan begins to reminisce about the past, when things between Rob and him were at their peak. In sharp contrast to the callous version of Rob presented at the outset, in which he coldly states, "What constitutes a fuck is when I sweat," in reference to Evan being able to satisfy him. With such a derisive line, we see that there's a clear pattern with this particular narcissist. He acquires pleasure from building his boyfriends (a laundry list of them, summed up by all the photos he collects of himself and the boy du jour in the same exact location) up and then tearing them down. It's a perverse way to boost his own ego.
Rob's fate as a lonely, middle-aged cipher trolling Grindr for fulfillment seems like a more than fitting vengeance for Evan, who goes on to find true happiness with someone who doesn't condemn him for his aesthetic or in the bedroom preferences. As the third short directed by Casaccio, Behind the Hype is more than ready to see what he's capable of doing with a feature length film. Considering the depth with which he's able to explore the theme of his choosing within such a short time frame (Narcissist clocks in at about 17 minutes), it's easy to imagine the impact he could have with the 90-minute realm.