SPINSTERS screening at Lovesexxy (222 Richmond West), tonight (Thursday, August 16), 10 pm sharp. $5-$10. email@example.com Rating: NNNNN
If you think the idea of female DJs spinning in clubs is anything but a novel concept these days, just ask Toronto's Denise Benson about her experiences.
Even though she frequently wins polls as one of Toronto's top DJs, the downtown club regular admits in the DJ documentary Spinsters that people still come up to her in the booth and seem shocked that she's a woman.
It's that attitude, and the women who face it, that's the focus of Spinsters, a 50-minute low-budget doc by filmmakers Jane Walker and Jackie Pelle. They interviewed a handful of local DJs including Benson, DJ Wasabi, DJ Heather and Misstress Barbara about what it's like to be a woman behind the decks in clubland.
All those profiled have faced some hurdles in being taken seriously, and their tales of guy DJs running overtime or messing with their mix dominate Spinsters. It's important stuff, but also a bit monotonous, as are some of the sweeping generalizations about female versus male DJs -- claims that women are more "passionate" about music than men, for example.
More interesting are the discussions about why these women started DJing in the first place and why some of them have resisted the natural next step of producing their own tracks.
"We spent a lot of time in clubs and were very familiar with DJ culture," Walker explains. "What really fascinated us was the fact that women play a very background role even in this subculture. They're either bartenders or dancers.
"When a woman plays in a club, the fact that she's a woman overshadows the music. It's as if her skills are only as good as her looks. This is a culture that embraces diversity but still creates this situation."
Spinsters screens at 10 pm tonight (Thursday, August 16) at Lovesexxy, followed by an after-party featuring Dino & Terry.