Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers

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: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Experimental
STATUS: Post-Production


A poet composes a cinematic love letter to his grandmother as his homophobic aunt and drag queen uncle wage war over her estate in Hokes Bluff, Alabama.


Socks on Fire is a lyrical love letter to southern femininity, couched in the battle between the filmmakers homophobic aunt, and drag queen uncle over his grandmother's estate after she dies. Socks on Fire explores the intricacies of an exploding family and what it means to be the only gay son of a southern family and the end of a legacy.


Socks on Fire can’t do anything like everyone else, so it enters the realm of documentary obliquely and in rhinestones. It functions like a barn with holes shot through it. Inside the barn is the truth, but Socks on Fire leads you to the truth by guiding you to a specific hole at a certain time. You’ve got to look through each hole and view the truth at each angle in order to arrive at the whole of it. That’s why the seemingly incongruous textures and tones in this film must run seamlessly alongside each other. The stylized reenactments and moments of vérité exist in conversation with the VHS footage and family photographs. The zealous camp performances of a John Waters’ film thrive in the Tarkovskyesque landscapes of Socks on Fire, and the resulting orchestration even manages to perform a truth. This kaleidoscopic approach to documentary reflects the constant shifts in the way I feel about where I come from. I will never be completely an insider or completely an outsider to Hokes Bluff, Alabama, and that can be a jagged edge to walk. Because my white, working-class, Southern experience was inevitably queered, I know that allowing all of the stories of one place to simultaneously exist is the only way to highlight the emotional truths found in the landscape. Socks on Fire’s queer & experimental tendencies point towards the fluid nature of constructing identity everywhere & anywhere, presently & generationally. And by pushing against the boundaries of how the story is told, Socks on Fire is also a documentary about the fluidity of documentary as well.  And that is a very queer thing.


Bo McGuire - Director
Bo McGuire was born the queer son of a Waffle House cook and his third-shift waitress in Hokes Bluff, Alabama. The first movie he truly fell for was the music video for Reba McEntire’s Fancy. He is a 2018 IFP Lab Fellow with his transgenerational docudrama entitled Socks on Fire. The short version of that project won a grand jury prize at Nashville Film Festival and went onto play at other festivals including Atlanta and New Orleans. His original television pilot, Shitbird, was selected by Spike Lee to receive the Sandra Ifraimova Award and his feature script, Alabama Snipe Fight, recently landed on NYU’s Purple List. He belongs to the First Church of Dolly Parton.

Tatiana Bears - Producer
Tatiana Bears is a Canadian-born, Florida-raised producer currently based in Brooklyn, NY. After receiving her BFA from Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts, she began working as a producer and production manager on a number of feature films, including Night Comes On which premiered at Sundance and was awarded the NEXT Innovator award and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, winner of the 2018 Grand Jury Prize. In 2016, Tatiana co-produced Xander Robin’s Are We Not Cats, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and was released theatrically in February 2018.

Max Allman - Editor
Max Allman is a documentary editor from down South, now based in Brooklyn. He was an editor on The First To Do It, a feature documentary about Earl Lloyd, the first African-American NBA player. He’s edited non-fiction pieces for channels like Topic, Mass Appeal, and BRIC, as well as branded content for Google, Youtube, and Jordan. He is definitely not related to Gregg Allman, but he might let you believe he is.

Matt Clegg - Cinematographer
Matt Clegg is a cinematographer born by the river and raised in Richmond, Virginia. His visual practice involves using the camera to explore the poetics of humanity and our relationship to the natural world of light and sound. His first feature film as cinematographer, Xander Robin’s, Are We Not Cats, premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was released theatrically. He’s shot many other narrative and documentary projects that have gone on to screen internationally. He believes in the light of Alabama.


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