katrinaolson.ca - A Skin So Soft (Calgary Film 2017)

Posted on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 12:00 PM

A Skin So Soft (Calgary Film 2017)

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

A KO Review by Emily Mody

A Skin So Soft is a Canadian feature length docu-hybrid film directed by Denis Côté. The film examines the pursuit of physical perfection in contemporary society. Côté chose to demonstrate this examination with a case study of six bodybuilders. The film follows these men, as the pursuit of perfection becomes an obsession, intermingling with every aspect of their lives and ultimately straining their personal relationships. A Skin So Soft also has some discourse on hyper masculinity and how this impacts the lives and personal relationships of these men.

A Skin So Soft was extremely well done. It was so interesting to take a look into the lives of these men. I feel that what would normally be deemed vain or unacceptable to most people was everyday normality to these men. Whether it be weighing their food or practicing their posing nearly nude in the middle of a parking lot, anything seemed to be fair game. I feel like this was an extreme example of how the average person lives today though. We have become so inundated with images of perfection in our society that it has become very difficult to escape the pressures. These pressures are only heightened if your career requires you to obtain physical perfection like the bodybuilders in this film.

I have not seen much of Denis Côté work but I have watched his short entitled, May We Sleep Soundly. These two films are pretty different in terms of tone but the docu-hybrid style is very much the same. I think this is actually the only director I have ever seen utilize this style and I really enjoy it. It gives a unique quality and sincerity to his films. I would compare A Skin So Soft to Daisy: The Story of a Facelift directed by Michael Rubbo. Both films examine the pressures of physical perfection in our society today. Daisy is a documentary that follows a maturing woman while she struggles with the decision to get plastic surgery. The two films do differ however, based on the gendered viewpoint. I understand that A Skin So Soft was a case study of six men and how they related to issues regarding physical perfection. Perhaps it would have also been interesting to examine the pressures facing transgendered or gender neutral individuals, however this may be a different film altogether.

A Skin So Soft runs a total of 93 minutes. As far as I am concerned this film is safe for people of all ages and sensitivities as long as you do not mind a little vanity. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in documentaries or films that examine the boundaries of beauty in our society today.

A Skin So Soft will be screening as a part of the 18th Calgary International Film Festival 2017. It will be playing on Thursday, September 28th at 7:30pm and Saturday, September 30th at 12:30pm at Cineplex Eau Claire 3.

Calgary Showtimes: A Skin So Soft >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.