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
The sinews of old San Francisco lie in the water: the posts standing in the Bay mud that supported the docks and piers where the shipping that made the city possible, and later allowed it to flourish, flowed.
When we heard that a local theater would be screening a silent kung fu movie with live accompaniment, we were excited. It somehow didn't occur to us that a lot of movies from the 1920s are scary and racist, so when we watched the preview clip, it freaked us out a little. Wen Yimin's Red Heroine is one of a 13-part series of martial arts features made in Shanghai, and it's the only one still around, so the screening is a great and rare event. The film tells the story of a young woman who becomes a fearless and magical avenger of injustice; wirework and awesome old-fashioned visual effects abound. Silent film accompaniment experts the Devil Music Ensemble provide dramatic live music, with lots of pounding drums and suchlike. So there's a lot to like about Red Heroine, but be aware: One of the bad guys is named "Teeth," as in "buck teeth."
Fri., Sept. 19, 8:30 p.m., 2008