Robert Lang | "Encore"

by Hannah Jackson

The iconic Greek myth of Narcissus takes on a glimmering new identity in photographer and director Robert Lang’s newest short film “Encore.” The ancient legend tells of a man, Narcissus, so self-obsessed that he only had love for himself. He is driven mad by the goddess Nemesis, punishing him for his behavior. Realizing that his immense love for himself could never materialize, he dies by suicide.

Lang’s film, which is also inspired by the opening sequence of John Cassavetes’ “Opening Night,” offers up a surreal, gold-encrusted interpretation of the downfall of Narcissus. Though the theme of destructive self-idolatry transcends time, Lang used makeup to add a modern touch.

“This film incorporates elements of theatrical costume design, using richly embellished fabrics such as gold and velvet. The use of experimental, exaggerated makeup mirrors an equally augmented and enhanced presentation of self in modern society,” he says.

With costumes inspired by Marc Chagall’s ballet costumes from Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” and “The Magic Flute,” Lang’s lead character, played by Cameron Smith, illustrated both inner and outer pathological narcissism with incredible depth, offering flashes of terrifying self-awareness, only to fall back into his malignant self-love.

Watch Robert Lang’s stunning short film “Encore” below and find out more at