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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Short Film Reviews: What Men Fear Most (2016) & A Guide to Indulgence (2017)

“Masculinity is something that people kill and die for.”
What Men Fear Most is an elaborate and intricately spoken, tale that revolves around the psyche of a young man who fears something that he quite can't express to his father. We all have our own insecurities and emotional reactions to them, but then there's this concept of masculinity. Men are advised to be tough and strong and to not let these emotions show it to be depicted as masculine to the world. However, the concept of masculinity is so deeply ingrained in most men that they feel like the emotions that they experience could disrupt this facade, so they swallow their feelings to appear strong, but what most people forget is that they will eventually have to go somewhere. The filmmaker even reiterates this statement when he says, "What about when you're vulnerable, scared? Those feelings are never aired, but they have to live somewhere. And the question is where?" And it's in though provoking questions like these that the author transcends a simple exploration of toxic masculinity into something more-so in the realm of a poetic, hard-hitting, world shattering critique.
Watch the film here. 

A Guide to Indulgence offers a satirical and somewhat frightening look into the world of beauty and femininity. British photographer and filmmaker, Nadia Lee Cohen, uses a multitude of masked, made-up women who are more than comfortable in their own skin as the backdrop of this wonderfully crafted, modernized take on the vintage advice, beauty and grooming technique videos of the 30s, 40s and 50s. The stylized situations in the film not only reflect on how a woman's role has been built and transformed over time, but they also prompt many questions that ponder the minds of many. What does it mean to be beautiful? How is true beauty achieved? Who is really in charge for all the trends and styles that we pick and choose to recreate and embody? Is it us or does it come from somewhere else, somewhere unrecognizable? Though we may never find out, Cohen believes that it's time that we do.
Watch the film here.

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