Watch The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself
- 1 hr 32 min
The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself is a documentary film from 2017 that explores the life and career of Steve Austin, a musician and performance artist known for his intense stage presence and willingness to endure physical pain. Directed by filmmaker and photographer Antony Short, the film offers a raw and unfiltered look at Austin's world, both on and off stage. The film opens with a brief introduction to Austin and his art. We see footage of him performing live, thrashing around on stage and shouting into the microphone. From there, we segue into a series of interviews with Austin and those closest to him - his wife, his friends, his fellow musicians. They speak candidly about his personality, his upbringing, and his creative process. One of the most striking things about Austin is his willingness to push his body to the limit. We see him using power tools to drill holes into his own flesh, stapling his skin together, and even setting himself on fire. He explains that he is addicted to the adrenaline rush that comes from these stunts, and that they help him express his most intense emotions. "I love to hurt myself," he says at one point, "because it makes me feel alive." But the film doesn't just focus on Austin's shock tactics - it also delves into his personal life. We learn about his struggles with addiction, his tumultuous relationship with his parents, and his ongoing battle with mental illness. One of the most emotional moments of the film comes when Austin breaks down in tears while discussing his past traumas, revealing a vulnerable side that is rarely seen on stage. Throughout the film, Short employs a variety of techniques to capture Austin's world. We see concert footage shot on shaky handheld cameras, gritty black and white stills of Austin's injuries, and dreamlike sequences of the artist wandering through empty landscapes. These different styles give the film a sense of visual depth, and help convey the raw energy of Austin's music. The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself isn't just a film about a performer with extreme habits - it's a portrait of a complex and deeply human artist. Through Short's lens, we see Austin as a man driven by a fierce desire to create, and willing to endure any amount of pain to achieve his vision. The film is a testament to the power of art to heal, to provoke, and to inspire, and a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of the most unique performers working today. Overall, The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself is a powerful and thought-provoking film that deserves to be seen by anyone interested in the intersection of art and pain. It's not always an easy watch - there are moments of intense violence and emotional turmoil - but it's a profoundly rewarding one, with a sense of authenticity that comes from the deep respect Short has for his subject. For anyone looking to explore the boundaries of creative expression, or to better understand the complex inner workings of the human psyche, this documentary is not to be missed.