Film screening and Q&A: “The Floating Man”
A new film directed by an award-winning Canadian writer and artist will be screened on the Brandon University campus this month, providing audiences with a timely and provocative look at gender identity.
Director Michael V. Smith will be in attendance, and will also take part in an audience Q&A.
His film, “The Floating Man,” blends DIY documentary, road trip, performance art, and videopoem into an intimate self-portrait that examines a lifetime of untrue stories about his body.
As anti-trans and drag queen rhetoric in a new wave of rightwing gender wars rage across the globe, the film unpacks his journey as a radical drag performer and genderqueer. It is a timely film about gender fluidity and the power of art to transform a life.
The screening is part of the BU Gender and Women’s Studies speaker series, which has brought a succession of popular speakers to campus events to stand up for queer perspectives. Earlier this year, BU welcomed Professor Melissa Adler, from the University of Western Ontario, and Dr. Robert Mizzi, the Canada Research Chair in Queer, Community and Diversity Education and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, as well as a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and the Royal Society of Canada. Both spoke about the importance of including queer content in school libraries, and their events drew large and approving audiences.
This latest event is again being hosted and supported by BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies program, by the John E. Robbins Library, by the BU Faculty Association, BU Human Resources, the BU Office of the Provost, the BU President’s Office, and Brandon University itself. Funding also comes from the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund.
The screening takes place at BU’s Evans Theatre on Thursday evening. All are welcome to attend, although viewers are advised that the film contains some mild nudity.
About ‘The Floating Man’
As anti-trans and drag queen rhetoric in a new wave of rightwing gender wars rage across the globe, Michael V. Smith’s intimate documentary unpacks his journey as a radical drag performer and genderqueer.
Inspired by Agnès Varda, “The Floating Man” is a unique blend of DIY documentary, road trip, performance art, and videopoem. In this intimate self-portrait by a self-described sissy, “The Floating Man” sources Smith’s provocative art practice, to examine a lifetime of untrue stories about his body.
A featured project includes Smith on a road trip on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, searching for famed Canadian singer Joni Mitchell… while dressed as Peanut the Clown.
A contemporary thread sees Smith’s body ‘erased,’ dressed in a black body suit, in an attempt to eliminate all gender signals, asking us, How do we read a body? What does a particular shape tell us about the world? How much do we not realize we assume, often wrongly, about a person we see on the street? How might we assume less?
“The Floating Man” is a timely film about gender fluidity and the power of art to transform a life.
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