Talk about a Rorschach test. Just minutes into Jennifer Fox's first-person, six-hour documentary Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman, you'll either want to hug her, strangle her, fuck her, or be her. Fox long ago rejected her mother's choice to stay at home and raise five kids; now in her early 40s, she lives in a Manhattan loft, makes films, and has a married South African lover. She takes a Swiss boyfriend and then, prompted by a friend's illness, begins to question her lifestyle and priorities. One interpretation of the opus' title is an homage to Erica Jong's scandalous 1973 novel Fear of Flying, which boasted a heroine as sex-mad as any male horndog. So is Fox a sexually liberated, feminist romantic with the remarkable courage to reveal herself on film? Or a spoiled, narcissistic twit who can't get enough screen time? However you vote, you'll be thankful she has high-achieving female friends around the globe whose views of women's roles are never less than fascinating. Alas, none of them offers Fox the most obvious counsel: Fire her therapist, who's been taking her money for 20 years.
Fox will be present at Part One of Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman tonight at 7 p.m. (and at Part Two tomorrow.)
Wed., March 5; March 7-9, 2008