INTEGRAL MAN Will Be Screening @ The Hot Docs Theatre July 7-16, 2017.

by jason smith for FILMbutton

Upon a dark visage of emerald foliage it opens, pulling you into its depths; and like the light hiding behind the tree tops, a beauty exits beyond the forest – but only for those who take the time to seek it. Through one man’s unique vision, Integral Man offers such an opportunity – a chance to see beyond – by seizing the possibilities that life puts before us.

It beings with the violin, James Stewart a famed polymath, and LGBTQ activist who played with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and is a Professor Emeritus at McMaster University garnered the wealth to create his unique vision of a home due, primarily, to the calculus text he published, motivated by some students, that become the global standard.

Stewart’s home was conceived in the late 90s, and designed by the Toronto based architects Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe. Integral Man attempts to reconcile the rift between James’ two distinct selves: the classical and the modern. With the classical, there arises the concern for the rational, ordered and precise. With the modern, there’s the dreamer, and Stewarts’ more dynamic aspects; and it’s this dynamic interplay between such concerns – his love for the arts and for the sciences – that is on display within his beautiful vision of a home.

Joseph Clement’s & His Home

Being philanthropically inclined, Stewarts’ overjoyed that his house, with a personally designed in-home theatre with a 150 person capacity, has came into quick demand with both arts and charitable foundations alike.

As a performance space, artists have described the house, itself, as an instrument in which they, themselves, are playing, and feel very much as though they’ve been transformed by the experience. On a similar note, Stewart explains that like math and music, which move through time telling a story, one’s relationships with the house, also, changes while moving through it, giving the viewer their own story.

The vision in which director Joseph Clement’s presents in Integral Man proves as dynamic as the house itself in how it resolves it’s own distinct selves: the narrative and the joyful. With the narrative, there’s the telling of the story, which, to some degree, gets conveyed through how it’s filmed. With the joyful, there’s the conveyance of something beyond the former.

Joseph Clement director of Integral Man

Understanding his subject, Clement engages the viewer with a powerful perspective, utilizing both static and dynamic film techniques. Yes, there are the familiar shots that capture and convey those things needed for us to understand the story; but then there are those shots that take us beyond the story – and elevate. It’s a bold vision, for a bold subject.

What makes Integral Man a brilliant success, I feel, is how it so aptly embraces – not its subject – but the subject’s essence. James Stewart, through the creation of his home was able to reconcile the various aspects of himself and came into contact with a myriad of different people and performers who helped him to realize his inclusive vision. More than being about what Stewart needed, he also wanted to give back; and it’s through Joseph Clement’s efforts in Integral Man that his sincerity of intention is displayed and thereby continues.

Following the screenings on July 7, 8, 9 there will be discussions and Q+As with director Clement and special guests

Jason Smith is an actor & arts aficionado who loves theatre, film and anything arts related. When he is not on a TV or film set, you might just see him in the background of the newest opera playing in Toronto./h6>

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