Thanks to NELA Art News for covering the Oct. 1 iTunes and DVD release and the Oct. 6 LA Filmforum Los Angeles Premiere of THE SKIN I’M IN. NELA arts is an organization of northeast Los Angeles galleries and artists and NELA Art NEws is a monthly publication profiling the events and personalities of this exploding region of arts activity in the city.
The film is THE SKIN I’M IN and was made by local NELA resident Broderick Fox. He likes to say it’s about the transformative power of art and the art of transformation. Brody not only lives in Northeast Los Angeles, but he has ben teaching at Occidental College for 10 years. He teaches Media Arts & CUlture, which covers the history, theory, and making of media. Read full article
Thanks to Anthem Magazine and writer Kee Chang for this great interview leading up to the Oct. 1, 2013 International Digital Release of THE SKIN I’M IN on iTunes and Amazon.
In 2005, at the age of 31, Broderick Fox was found unconscious on the tracks of a Berlin subway station with his head split open and a lethal blood alcohol level of 0.47. As it turns out, Fox had destroyed an entire bottle of vodka and later proceeded to fall onto the tracks—a walking blackout. The Skin I’m In concerns a human work-in-progress chronicling decades of bodily shame, addiction and suppressed sexual identity, which led to what Fox refers to as “the bottom”. Read full article
After a festival run spanning 17 cities and 11 countries THE SKIN I’M IN will have its international release Oct. 1, 2013 on iTunes and Amazon. Help us spread the word!
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In this American Film Institute Archive clip, Dustin Hoffman recalls the process of developing the external appearance of Dorothy Michaels for Tootsie (1982) and the concatenating effects of realizing his internal sense of self did not match the external reality of what even the studio’s elite hair and makeup teams could provide.
This clip points to several different personal and cultural questions I seek to explore in The Skin I’m In. We all likely agree at this point that judgments of beauty, femininity, or masculinity are not absolutes but rather culturally constructed. But it is one thing to know this intellectually and quite another to a) feel at peace with these metrics or b) to transcend their use as the driving measures of self or others.
If self is not to be fully found in our tyrannical minds or our ephemeral bodies, then where does it reside? Explorers of nonduality would say this question is itself a trap, as it remythologizes the existence of a singular, finite, knowable self.
Making this film and dividing my identity into multiple personas, each just as real and just as “me” as the next, has certainly helped me to understand the ways in which each of us restricts and binds ourselves through personal and cultural narratives.
But on the flip side, once we see that none of our experiences, diagnoses, personalities, hopes, resentments, possessions, and appearances can fully describe “self,” but rather serve as nodes or mapping points for the experience of consciousness, we begin to glimpse the infinite possibilities for adventure, experimentation, and play in life.
It is this sense of freedom that I think many of us are pointing to via the (albeit feeble) term “spirit”–a realm I held at arm’s length for some thirty years because “spirituality” seemed fettered to religion and dogma, not a path to possibility and play.
‘Tis true that a good play needs no epilogue, but it seems fitting to close a post on gender, performance, and identity with some Shakesepare:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…
–Jaques from Shakesepare’s As You Like It (Act II Scene 7)
The Skin I’m In screened at the 15th annual Fairy Tales Film Festival in Calgary, Canada this past weekend. This was opening weekend for the festival, which included a broad array of fascinating and fun works covering the spectrum of queer identity. Fox’s alter ego Dina Brown made an appearance for the Priscilla Queen of the Desert retro drag gala screening on Saturday night. Other favorites of the weekend included Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert’s Margarita, Cory Krueckeberg’s The Go Doc Project, Macky Alston’s Love Free or Die, and Grant Lahood’s Intersexion. A special thanks to the welcoming festival staff and engaged audiences. We hope to be back with our next film!
Next stop Calgary, Canada! I’m onored to be headed up to Alberta as a guest filmmaker for the opening weekend of Fairytales 2013, Calgary’s 15th annual queer film fest. THE SKIN I’M IN will screen 7PM Sunday, May 26th at the old Plaza Theatre, followed by a Q&A with myself and executive producer Lee Biolos. Spread the word, and come join us! Click here for full festival details
Thanks to Kilian Melloy for a great interview and write-up on THE SKIN I’M IN in Edge Magazine.
A few years ago, filmmaker Broderick Fox was, pretty much literally, a broken man. Now he’s whole, healthy — and the living canvas for an intricate, powerful tattoo. Fox’s own life is the canvas for his resonant new film.
Read full article here.
I’m humbled by this review of the film which appeared today in EDGE MIAMI, in advance of Saturday’s Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Screening.
“Fox allows the documentary to open up and breathe, and in doing so, composes a lyrical film built out of layers, with the tattoo occupying only the most superficial of those layers — that is, the tattoo lives on the “skin” of the film, just as it lives on Fox’s skin, but it emerges from depths that are dark and perilous. The light to which the filmmaker, and his film, ascends is warm and enveloping…This documentary may take the camera-as-confessor approach that our online culture seems to foster, but Fox the filmmaker knows how to take the stuff of memoir and fashion art. His transformative journey is remarkable, and perhaps unique, but parts of it will be recognizable to many viewers; moreover, this film may well become part of the healing paths of those who sit with Fox, in a darkened theatre, to share in his journey.” Read full review here.
A former student of mine shared this great blog post by Simon Moritz, a Paris-based grad student, writer, and queer activist. Entitled, “What I Learned From Gay Sex: Misogyny and Homophobia” it explores the internalized misogyny and homophobia many gay men inflict upon themselves and others in their struggles with performances of “masculinity” and conceptions of manhood. An excerpt:
Typically we say that “fag,” “sissy,” “nancy,” “nelly” and “fairy” are homophobic words, and although they certainly are used to perpetuate homophobia, they are not homophobic in and of themselves; the usage of any of these words as slurs usually targets people with male-sexed bodies who do not act sufficiently masculine. They prize masculinity by demonizing femininity. Read full article here
Rande Cook’s totem pole has been permanently installed outside the Museum Volkenkunde Leiden in the Netherlands. Looks amazing!