Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Jason Benjamin’s HBO documentary Suited, produced by HBO’s Girls co-creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, is an eye-opening journey into the niche subject of dressing for success when you’re a gender nonconforming individual. Brooklyn bespoke tailoring company Bindle & Keep is a no-frills, two-person operation consisting of straight, cisgender male founder Daniel who fell into his calling through his non-binary, apprentice-turned-colleague Rae (née Rachel). Mixing cinema vérité with interviews, Benjamin’s film is fairly standard in approach — alternating between surface-deep snapshots into the lives of Bindle & Keep customers and the actual fitting process. It’s the clients themselves that are the true revelation — at least to me.

To read the rest visit The Rumpus.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Feminist Filmmaking Shines at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Running June 10-19th at NYC’s Film Society of Lincoln Center and the IFC Center, this year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival is spotlighting films both by female documentarians (over half the lineup is directed or co-directed by women) and focusing on women’s rights issues. The 27th edition will open with Nanfu Fang’s Hooligan Sparrow, which follows Chinese activist Ye Haiyan, nom de guerre “Hooligan Sparrow,” as the subject herself (along with filmmaker Fang, who rightly will receive the festival’s 2016 Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking) is likewise trailed by the secret police. Speaking out against a corrupt government system – which has allowed a school headmaster to get away with pimping out several of his young students (to government officials, naturally) – Sparrow proves as fearless as her friend Ai Weiwei. Though lacking in the international art world stardom that can often serve as a protective shield.

To read the rest of my wrap-up visit Global Comment.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Exploring gender identity at the Trans Theatre Festival

For nearly a decade and a half, The Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has been a hub of cutting edgy innovation. (Just check out my interview with Mariah MacCarthy about last year’s inaugural F*ckfest.) And 2016 is no exception. For this summer’s Trans Theatre Festival, running June 7-26, co-curators Maybe Burke (a director/choreographer/writer/performer/trans advocate) and MJ Kaufman (a longtime playwright and recent Yale School of Drama MFA graduate) have put together an incredibly eclectic lineup, everything from plays to docs, to paintings to web series – all conceived by trans artists.

I spoke with the duo a few weeks before the festival’s (free) cabaret preview and opening party on June 7th.

To read my interview visit Global Comment.