An intimate documentary portrait of three queer men who are reimagining the traditional barbershop, Broderick Fox’s Manscaping will be screened as part of the 2022 Mardi Gras Film Festival on Tuesday 1 March.
Drawn from his own emotions around barbershops, filmmaker Broderick Fox has identified a thread of kinship amongst queer folks and their feelings of being othered in these traditionally masculinist spaces in his documentary, Manscaping.
Devan Shimoyama is a Black American artist, fast on the rise, whose barbershop painting series draws upon Afrofuturism and drag to envision the Black barbershop as a more inclusive space.
Jessie Anderson is a young transgender Canadian barber and proprietor of Big Bro’s Barbershop, where trans, gender nonconforming, and queer customers know they won’t have to ‘go back into the closet’ to get a haircut.
Richard Savvy, Australia’s ‘naked barber’, is a fetish barber/porn actor, and former ‘Sydney Mr. Leather’ who invites you to leave your shame and clothes at the door and to add the transformative power of kink to your cut.
Their stories, artistry, and activism model ways we can cut through the toxicity of male fragility in favor of social inclusion and personal freedom.
“I entered into production on Manscaping driven by my own complex matrix of desire and fear elicited by barbershops, and the impulse to scrutinize those feelings more deeply while exploring the lives, work, and experiences of other queer artists and activists linked to these masculinist spaces,” said filmmaker Broderick Fox.
“I grounded the production process of Manscaping within clear stylistic and ethical approaches and a number of driving questions without limiting myself to a fixed or predetermined sense of what the film would become.”
“This combination of preparation and trust reflects a new level of confidence in my creative process, making room for active exploration and the element of surprise, both for myself and for audiences,” said Fox.
Broderick Fox’s award-winning narrative, experimental, and documentary works present challenging, socially relevant issues through accessible, character-driven storytelling and have screened in over 50 international festivals as well as on PBS and Danish Television.
Manscaping is his fourth feature documentary project. Broderick received a Special Recognition Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and a Dore Schary Award from the Anti-Defamation League for his co-directed first feature Tak For Alt: Survival of a Human Spirit.
His second feature documentary The Skin I’m In won the Special Jury Prize at the Arizona International Film Festival, Best Feature and Best in Fest at the Tattoo Arts Film Festival, and was a Juror’s Pick at the Victoria International Film Festival.
His third feature Zen & the Art of Dying was selected as a showcase “Heart of Film” project at the Austin Film Festival and the Closing Night Gala film of the Byron Bay International Film Festival, and continues to be utilized by a range of community groups and death care workers as an educational tool.
Fox is a two-time recipient of Artistic Innovation Grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation. His book, Documentary Media: History – Theory – Practice is out now through Routledge Press.
Manscaping screens as part of the 2022 Mardi Gras Film Festival at the Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney on Tuesday 1 March. For more information, visit: www.queerscreen.org.au or www.manscapingmovie.com for details. Checkout the trailer here!
Image: Manscaping participant Richard Savvy, aka The Naked Barber, in his Sydney studio. © Broderick Fox 2022