Angelo Madsen Minax’ Surreal Documentaries
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Published in: September-October 2022 issue.



ANGELO MADSEN MINAX creates audacious experimental films of trans embodiment by discordantly juxtaposing present-day footage with Super 8 home movies, animation, staged rituals, and ethereal voice-overs. Chaos and anarchy are embedded in his hybrid cinema of survival, acceptance, and transcendence.

            His work has been screened throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and Mexico—winning awards at many prestigious festivals. His “North by Current” was screened nationally on PBS’ POV series in November 2021. In this feature, shot over five years in an auto-ethnographic style, he returns to his family of origin and grapples with the death of a niece, addiction, incarceration, misguided religious fervor, and rejection of his gender transition.

Angelo Madsen Minax. Image courtesy of Angelo Madsen Minax.

            His experimental shorts are equally compelling. Gorgeous landscapes, queer rituals, and cinema-vérité ruminations provide kaleidoscopic glimpses of his artistic and personal explorations. Some are rooted in the particularity of location—utilizing archival news clips from a television station in Dallas or exploring Memphis’ geographic and sexual underground. His surrealist short “Two Sons & a River of Blood” (2021) is a poignant meditation on pregnancy and desire with a self-made family of “two dykes and a trans man.”

            This past spring he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Minax is also an educator, currently an associate professor of media studies at the University of Vermont. He was doing pre-production work on his next project when he took time out to speak with me on the phone.

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