Witnessing the Backyard Rapture in ‘Modern Man’

· Updated on March 23, 2023

In a new short film commissioned by INTO, director Luke Smithers represents man’s ever-complicated relationship with nature as a sensuous, tension-filled pas de deux.

Both unsettling and beautiful, “Modern Man” features dancer Jamie McGregor in various states of dress (and undress, and distress) as he grapples with the elements and attempts to get back in touch, quite literally, with his roots.

From the filmmaker:

“I conceived of ‘Modern Man’ from the great disembodiment that characterizes our age. We have vacated wooded trails for the immaterial realm of the Internet. The face I stare into most is no longer my lover’s but my iPhone’s. It comes as a surprise, then, to feel a drop of rain crawl down my back. Nature likes to touch and be touched, and, like a lover, returns us to the body we had forgotten.

‘Modern Man’ bears witness to a businessman’s backyard rapture. The suit that encases him gives way as he presses his body into the earth as if in a desperate plea for it to accept back what it first put forth. He jerks, staggers, and shivers to rediscover a corporeality the corporate world has robbed him of. To see a grown man learning to walk for the first time is to apprehend the extent to which one must go in order to preserve the body and soul in corporate America.”

Director: Luke Smithers
Lead: Jamie McGregor
DP: Ahad Mahmood
Gaffer: Seth Margolies
PA: Michael Beckert

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