While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
Ex-con Jack Abramoff isnt invited to the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, but Bugsy Siegel, Arnold Rothstein, and Louis Lepke Buchalter happily pick up the slack. Each old-school archcriminal is the subject of a vintage Hollywood film revived by guest curator Nancy Fishman in the sidebar Tough Guys: Images of Jewish Gangsters in Film." (These are educational films, see, as a panel of authors and professors explain after Sundays 4 p.m. screening of Lepke.) Malevolently ambitious perps represent just one aspect of Jewish identity on view in the festival, which time-travels from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia (Protektor) through junta-era Argentina (Te Extraño) to contemporary Israel (Jaffa, Bena). This years special guest is Israeli Arab author and satirist Sayed Kashua, in from Jerusalem to accept the fests Freedom of Expression Award. (What, you were expecting Mel Gibson?) Kashua is represented onscreen by the first three episodes of the brand-new second season of his politically attuned sitcom, Arab Labor, and Dorit Zimbalists one-hour portrait, Sayed Kashua Forever Scared. Arguably the most provocative and daring festival on the crowded Bay Area film calendar, the SFJFF always comes down on the side of justice.
July 24-Aug. 9, 2010