Broderick Fox '96 (Writer, Director, Editor, & Producer, THE SKIN I'M IN, ZEN & THE ART OF DYING)
By Terence O'Toole Murnin
After boldly tackling the cultural shame of gender, sexuality, addition, body dysmorphia, fantasy, and illness, Broderick Fox '96 takes on the ultimate taboo in ZEN AND THE ART OF DYING.
On a daily basis, Broderick Fox ('96, Lowell House) readily admits that he has the same doubts and fears as any human being. But when it’s time to get down to work, Fox never flinches from the tough issues that many people don’t want to talk about: Taboo and shame. Physical body dysmorphia. Alcoholism, gender and sexuality. This fearless auteur tackles some of our planet’s most difficult subjects with an artistic, poetic approach to visual storytelling.Read more
By Sanyee Yuan
Q: Your documentary, The Skin I’m In, tells the story of your personal journey as a recovering alcoholic after you were found passed out in the Berlin subway tracks with your head split open. When and why did you decide to tell this story?
A. I had made other autobiographical video works in the past, some short works. I came out to California after Harvard to go to grad school, where I studied production at USC. Much to the shock of many of my professors and colleagues, I then went on to get a PhD from USC as well. To a lot of those people, critical thinking is completely separate from production. I began to make short works that were on a scale of production that was manageable while writing a dissertation, and I turned to using the technology at my disposal and a subject matter that was on call 24/7: me.
The first such short I made was in 2001, called Things Girls Do, which explores the gendered tropes around eating and body disorders. This was in 2001 in a pre YouTube, pre social media, pre Facebook moment. Since that film, it’s become a daily digital ritual for many to confess and reveal ourselves and to perform online. But all of that is instantaneous, with little retrospection or craft. My hope is to restore a sense of political urgency, critical reflection, artistry and play to acts of digital autobiography, using the self to ask bigger cultural questions.
In this film, I use my own experience getting sober and literally and metaphorically transforming my body through tattooing, to ask some hopefully resonant questions about identity and connection in a globalizing, digital world.Read more