Hot Docs 2017: Integral Man

Mathematician Jim Stewart builds his dream house in Integral Man. Jim Stewart made a fortune through the sale of his mathematics textbooks, which are the most successful in the world. Stewart decides to use this fortune to build his dream house in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood. Inspired by his love of curses and music, this uniquely constructed house is often used as the host of various charitable events and performances.

Integral Man is less a documentary about Jim Stewart and more a documentary about Jim Stewart’s house. The camera moves how the various halls of the house as various architects talk about the building’s very unique construction. The “Integral House” is a way for Jim Stewart to leave his lasting mark in the twilight of his life.

For lack of a better term, Integral Man is a documentary that I would define as being “architecture porn.” The bulk of the film primarily involves the camera almost sensually moving along the house, as interviews with different architects comment on the house’s design. I would have almost preferred it if this film was less about the house and more about Jim Stewart, since the film only really scratches the surface on his life and career, which to me seems more interesting than a house.

6 / 10 stars


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).