LET RIP: BODIES LEAN AND RIPPED (2020)


‘Smash the fads, rip the mags, and break out those daddy bellies! ' OUTSTREAM FILM FESTIVAL 2020

The spaces that young queer people are creating for themselves are animated by a constant sense of self-policing, saying the right thing, being PC, body image ideals; feeling quite oppressed themselves. Becoming more and more increasingly aware as a gay man of ideals of body image that the gay male community puts on itself (FIT, FAT, FIT, FAT, FIT, FAT) this film employs protest art, of modes of representation /chanting (NO BODY SHAME, NO BODY SHAME) within ACT UP and queer movements, of political campaign, including my own drawings of my own body. There is so much humour in this work to critique and at times parody, for example, the line, ‘Mr Spinach and Eggs, stick your rules and regs in the hole at the back of the top of my legs!’ Using humour to address really complex issues here related to mental health because of increasing body image demands in the gay community and within society at large.

I am the performer. A shadow of my disembodied fist performing moving up and down repeatedly; the fist is the spoken language of violence, of my anger/frustration Many men go to great lengths to achieve one and to achieve a certain overall body type. I am never going to fit into (gay) society’s ideals in terms of body image. They are made up and everyone aspires to them. I will never give into these.

This film was made with sound and moving image recordings I made on a Sony Ericsson Cybershoot K800i mobile phone between 2005-2006, magazine imagery and photographic stills and moving image recordings made between 2011-2019 on various iPhones including performance for camera. As well as pencil drawings that I made of my body / self portraits in 2019.

  • Lee Campbell
    Director
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 11, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • OUTStream Film Festival

    May 29, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Vesuvius International Film Festival

    May 31, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Dumbo Film Festival
    New York
    Semi Finalist - Monthly Official Selection
  • Miami Performance Festival 2020
    Miami
    September 9, 2020
    Official Selection
  • MicroMania Official Selection 2021
  • Film Vault Presents
    Manchester
    United Kingdom
    July 20, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Homography
    Brussels
    October 1, 2021
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Lee Campbell

Dr Lee Campbell trained in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London in 2005 and received his doctorate in 2016. His recent experimental performance poetry films have been selected for many international queer film festivals including Queerbee LGBT Film Festival, The Gilbert Baker Film Festival, Kansas 2020, HOMOGRAPHY, Brussels and STATES OF DESIRE: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination, Casa de Duende, Philadelphia, USA, WICKED QUEER 202,Boston, USA, 2021 Film Vault Presents, Manchester, UK, 2021 FilmPride Brighton & Hove Pride's official LGBTQ+ film festival, Brighton, UK,Splice Film Festival 2021, Brooklyn, USA Festival ECRÃ Edition 5, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, SPHERE Festival, and Queer Life, EdgeZones, Miami, USA 2021.
He has a solo exhibition of his film work at The Sidewalk Video Gallery, Fountain Street, Boston USA in late 2021. His films have been selected for prestigious awards/nominations including:

2021 Honorable Mention, Splice Film Festival, New York
2021 Nominee for Best Original Concept and Best Atmosphere Independent Horror Movie Awards
2021 Honorable Mention Award for 'See Me' (2020), Screener Short Films
2021 Best Kent Film nominee for ‘Peer’ (2020), Margate Bookie Film Festival
2021 Honorable Special Mention Award, Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival
2020 Semi-Finalist (3rd place winner), Splice Film Festival, New York
2019 Special Mention Award, London-Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival

Dr Lee Campbell describes himself as 'a Londoner who makes experimental films and performance poetry about being gay and working class using barbaric wit and humour’. He uses poetry and experimental film as a form of autoethnographic storytelling/sharing of personal narratives often raw, often painful but always generous and authentic.

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Director Statement

I am interested how the medium of film and photography (that particularly include collage-methods) considers how male body image/self-representation particularly from a gay male perspective has been coded, performed, and socially constructed from the 1960s to the present day. Applied humour as a tactic to subvert and challenge issues of representation, my current film work presents a personal archaeology and revolves around my own autobiographical perspective, using the mechanisms of comedy and humour as an integral part of my work to engage, disarm, and highlight.

With a background in Painting and then Performance Art, my current artist moving image film practice brings together personal drawing, painting, photography and performance. Collage has become a major tool in this recent film practice, reinvigorating paintings and drawings that I produced nearly twenty years ago which are juxtaposed throughout my films with current photographic and performance for camera work. These films are often made with reusing / repurposing personal archival material and sound and moving image recordings. Things insist, in a spiral, nothing’s wasted. In this new exciting phase of my practice, I use all my capacities, from theatre to drawing to painting to language to the comic to the affective to the relational, to painting and performance and film. Excavating (fine art) work I made long ago and resuscitating it, I bring it back to life through the medium of film and moving image. Integrating my fine artwork into my film work, my films create an arresting palimpsest effect by recycling pieces from previous bodies of work and placing them within my current context to see how their meanings may now differ from when they were first conceived. Whilst what is presented through my films can be read as one person’s (my) narrative, so too can it easily be read as lots of different voices layered to talk about wider levels of experience with various references to cultural context that (any)one can relate to.