THE FLOATING MAN
MICHAEL V. SMITH | CANADA | 2023 | 78 MIN | ENGLISH
As anti-trans and drag queen rhetoric rages in gender wars across the globe, The Floating Man, Canadian filmmaker and artist, 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 bodysuit, 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?
Entertaining while enlightening, The Floating Man is an uplifting and timely film about gender fluidity and the power of art to transform a life.