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Kim Gehrig's Brooding Music Video for Kirin J Callinan Explores Masculinity Crisis

26/04/2018
Production Company
London, UK
154
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The video for ‘You Think You’re a Man' was created as a reaction to the rise of drink-related violence in Australia.
Director Kim Gehrig collaborated with Terrible Records artist Kirin J Callinan to re-record ‘You Think You’re a Man’, originally performed by cult icon Divine (Pink Flamingos), and create a narrative music video for the track.

The collaboration was a reaction to the rise of drink-related violence in Australia.

The 'King Hit’ - the act of throwing a single punch at an unsuspecting victim - had become an epidemic in Sydney. Tragic incidents of young men dying after being punched dominated the news, prompting Kim to want to explore this crisis of masculinity. 


In response to making the making the video Kim Gehrig said, "Having grown up in Sydney, but residing in London, I couldn’t help but notice the changing size of men on each of my visits back.

Hanging at the beach I became aware of how pumped up Aussie men had become. I continued to observe a culture of young men who seemed to feel a kind of pressure to conform somehow. To be something quite specific. Was it that they felt they needed to be ‘real men’. ‘Real Aussie men’. And what did that even mean? I stumbled on this quote from Dr Michael Flood (Sociologist on men and masculinities); The Australian Man, An ideal - “The idea to be a ‘man’, men must act tough, strong, invulnerable, heterosexual, in control, unemotional, dominant, and or aggressive.

As a woman, I felt it might be interesting to lend a female gaze to the subject matter and this film is the result of that. I was not interested however in placing judgment on anyone or blaming any one thing... I just wanted to try and understand how it feels to be a young boy growing up in a culture where there are such specific expectations on what it means to be a man".

The song, ‘You Think You’re a Man,’ originally performed by drag artist Divine, was a pub anthem in 80s and 90s Australia. The irony was of course that this epitome of heterosexual rugby league culture was in fact a gay love song. 

For Kim it seemed the perfect juxtaposition to set her visuals to, and she invited Kirin J Callinan to record his own cover version of the song. The outcome was an utterly honest and pure rendition.

"Like he was singing the song to himself. His voice and words became the internal dialogue for our lead character" - Kim Gehrig
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