Inside Out 2014: Masculinity/Femininity – Documentary Review

Director: Russell Scheaffer
Runtime: 88 minutes
Rating: R

Through a series of questions inspired by his interview with James Franco, experimental filmmaker Russell Sheaffer seeks to analyze and understand different points of view on sexuality and gender, their social weight, and their ability to influence who a person is and who they can become. The documentary mixes mediums by using shots with a super 8, which give it a much different look from most contemporary documentaries. By interviewing a variety of scholars and artists, Sheaffer provides a panoramic view in which individuals have been affected by social constructs of femininity and masculinity, and what those restraints represent in society at large.

Masculinity/Femininity is an interesting piece that documents very different and insightful views on sex, gender, and gender roles. While it is interesting to have the points of view of many different artists and scholars, I wonder how much better the documentary could have been if the people interviewed would have come from more diverse backgrounds,and then the exploration of masculinity and femininity could have been more intersectional. Outside from this, the documentary is appealing, and it creates very interesting discussion. While the artsy feeling the use of the Super 8 camera might not make a whole lot of visual sense, it will certainly appeal for those that seek a more vintage feel in their art cinema.

Rating: 6 / 10

Screening Time: Monday May 26, 5:30pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 3