Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 PM in the Overby Center Auditorium

About the film

Experimental filmmaker Russell Sheaffer’s Masculinity/Femininity takes over where his short film starring James Franco, Masculinity & Me, left off. Shot mainly on Super 8 film, this is not a typical documentary. Sheaffer asks filmmakers, academics, gender theorists, and artists to present their concepts of gender construction in what works as a sort of performance piece rather than as a narrative. In fact, the filmmakers themselves question whether Masculinity/Femininity is scripted or not. Whether through monologue, visual art, performance art, or storytelling, individuals including B. Ruby Rich, Susan Stryker, Barbara Hammer, John Greyson, Chris Vargas and Yvonne Tasker represent the personal experiences they have had with gender-normative societal constructs. Each performance is unique, but somehow viewers will be able to see something of themselves in each one.

About the filmmaker

Russell Sheaffer is an academic and filmmaker, using his work in both disciplines to interrogate the intersections between gender and performance. A California native, he completed his B.A. in Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine (where he won the Franco Tonelli Memorial Award for Film Theory) and his M.A. in NYU’s Department of Cinema Studies. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University.  Before starting work on Masculinity/Femininity, Russell co-wrote and co-directed the film Masculinity & Me with James Franco, which was an official selection of the 2011 Torino LGBT Film Festival and was featured in Franco’s solo exhibition, “The Dangerous Book Four Boys” (where the NY Times deemed the piece “the best by far” and V Man described it as “irresolute, pop culture-inlect-ed brilliance”). Russell’s films include: Acetate Diary (short), Memory of Objects (short), Monotony (short), Masculinity & Me (short), Alone. (short), and The Forgetting Game (feature documentary). In addition to his own experimental work, Russell has produced a number of documentary and fiction films, including Josephine Decker’s Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, which premiered in Forum at Berlinale in 2014.