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REviews of the adonis factor

Frameline Review

Do looks matter? When it comes to the male physique in the gay community, the answer is of course a resounding YES. In this fascinating, thought-provoking documentary, filmmaker Christopher Hines (The Butch Factor, Frameline33) turns his camera on guys of all shapes and sizes to explore how body image affects status among gay men. 

Through intimate interviews with men across the United States, including several from the Bay Area, Hines uncovers the very common, often unsettling reality of how many gay men struggle to achieve and maintain a particular image in order to be accepted. As he talks with experts and everyday folks, we hear how body discrimination can lead to feelings of inadequacy, as well as issues around drug abuse and severe eating disorders that transcend sexual orientation. One especially muscular guy admits that even though he knows it’s superficial, he “feels more respected and accepted” when people compliment his look. Hines explores how these issues trickle into other areas of our modern world by looking at everything from the gay porn industry to a naked yoga class in San Francisco that helps students feel more comfortable with their bodies. 

The Adonis Factor deftly balances diverse viewpoints and voices to paint a picture of a complex world where beauty is too often considered skin deep. — BRENDAN PETERSON


Examiner.com: Whether skinny, bearish or "Adonis" - director shows men concerned of body type at any size

Christopher Hines has made a big splash with San Francisco's Frameline GLBT Film Festival two years in a row. Last years' "The Butch Factor" not only made the film festival circuit, but it became a popular film on Logo TV and has done well on DVD.

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Examiner.com: A Closer Look at Frameline: "Adonis" and "Skinnyfat" successfully explore men and their body image

Part of San Francisco's GLBT film festival, "The Adonis Factor" is a compelling and interesting look at men's self-body image. Director Christopher Hines' documentary almost picks up where his wonderful "Butch Factor" left off. Hines finds men of all walks of life between California and Georgia and how their body images shapes their lives. There's the body builders who bulk up to be oogled at circuit clubs. And yet there's always someone there with more muscles

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San Francisco Bay Guardian Online: Get thee to the gym

Leafing through relevant issues magazine-style, from circuit parties to surgery to eating disorders, Christopher Hines' documentary ponders endemic, sometimes compulsive shallowness while providing a lot of eye candy. "If you're gonna be gay, you're just gonna have to experience the wrath of the A crowd," one perfect 10 in search of an 11 attests. Some of us are just too allergic to house music to hazard that.

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AllMovie.com Review

Looks may be only skin deep, but they're also where many people start to develop their attitudes towards one another, and this is as true in the gay community as anywhere else, perhaps even more so. In a time when issues of body image are discussed more than ever, it's no surprise this is also of importance to gay men. The bronzed and buff man with rippling muscles and a chiseled six-pack has seemingly become the ultimate figure of beauty in the gay media, and many men struggle to achieve the perfect body in a bid to feel wanted and accepted.

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GayCelluloid.com Review: an eye-opening insight into the yin and yang of the gay world.

More than ever we live in a body conscious world, one where images of the male body beautiful are targeted at you 24/7. No wonder then that many men, both gay and straight, find themselves unhappy with their body image, opting to go to various lengths, some extreme, in the pursuit of their ideal of physical perfection.

Yet in an increasingly superficial society, one where your look may well shape, if not define you, is this any surprise? Indeed as one participant in this thought-provoking documentary from writer, producer and director Christopher Hines put it, "how I look has made my experience of being a gay man, the better" and here cue more parties, more sex, more friends. Yet life is a lot more complicated as Hines sets out to show, along the way taking into account the thoughts of dermatologists, doctors, psychologists and sexologists, to plastic surgeons kept busy with never ending requests for face lifts to pec implants.

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AfterElton.com Review: "The Adonis Factor" Provokes

Are gay men obsessed with the way we look? If so, why — and what are the costs? And how much are we driving the culture at large when it comes to the relatively new (or rediscovered) interest in male looks?

Director Christopher Hines explores these questions in a new documentary, The Adonis Factor, a follow-up to his previous film, The Butch Factor.

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