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
We don't often go out of our way for restrooms, but in the case of Macy's sixth-floor ladies room (sorry guys: you'll just have to make do with having everything else), all who pass through its doors will understand why it's worth the effort.
The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry.
Why Che Guevara, and why now? Unlike The Motorcycle Diaries and 20th Century Foxs long-ago debacle, Che!, Steven Soderberghs two-part, four-hour Che is neither romantic nor even particularly partisan. The movie presents its subject almost entirely in the context of three eventsthe Cuban Revolution, the Bolivian debacle, and a 1964 trip to the United Nations. As a result, some have accused Soderbergh and screenwriter Peter Buchman of evading the facts: Where was Ches bureaucratic bungling and his persecution of political enemies? What about his love affairs? His adventures in the Congo? Everything must be deduced from Ches behavior under actual or rhetorical firehe is defined in terms of his desire and capacity to make history. Whatever Soderberghs intentions, Che is most definitely not a movie in the hyper-dramatizing tradition of D.W. Griffith or Steven Spielberg. History is not personalized. As a filmmaker, Soderbergh is closer to Otto Preminger in his observational use of the moving camera, or to Roberto Rossellini, whose serenely understated period documentaries presented historical facts as though they were commonplace. At its best, Che is both action film and ongoing argument. Every Bolivian sequence has its Cuban parallel, which is why Ches two parts are best seen together. Part One may be the more realized of the twoand could certainly stand on its ownbut it is only comprehensible in the light of Part Two. Elevating Part Two to tragedy, Part One puts some hope in hopelessnessand even in history.
Starts: Jan. 16. Daily, 2009