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
This year, Disney announced plans to revive the magical, majestical, supercali- fragilistical title character of Mary Poppins. We can’t find too much fault with the choice of Emily Blunt in the starring role, and we are pleased that this won’t be a “reimagining” of P.L. Travers’ original tale. (Travers wrote many more adventures for her English governess, so there’s plenty of material to draw upon.) Still, even if the composers are Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and they have elicited the support of at least half of the Sherman Brothers who wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” we have a difficult time imagining a movie that can compete in our child brain with the five-time Oscar winner. Granted, Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent left a lot to be desired, and maybe the movie does take its own sweet time getting started — to say nothing of those interminable penguins — but we’ve done some internal editing, leaving nothing but a sweet aftertaste that, during this month’s “Wine Down with a Movie,” might be accompanied by free tipples of Domaine Chan- don.More
Paul Mazursky turned 80 in April, but the writer-director of Next Stop, Greenwich Village, and Down and Out in Beverly Hills and author of one of the most enjoyably anecdote-packed Hollywood memoirs ever, 1999s Show Me the Magic has no plans to retire. Hes got a couple of scripts hed like to shoot, and he still takes the occasional turn in front of the cameras (most recently in Curb Your Enthusiasm). Todays master-class edition of "Comedy Talks: Conversations with the Legends of Comedy" reunites Mazursky with his Blume in Love star George Segal and standup comic extraordinaire Ronnie Schell in a sharp-witted summit of old-school humorists. Masters of a literate form of funny that runs the gamut from farcical to bittersweet to achingly poignant, these guys hail from an era when character-driven comedy, not pee-in-the-pool jokes, was the gold standard. On second thought, Mazursky is also good pals with Mel Brooks, who will famously do, say, or write anything for a laugh. So expect a mix of wicked insights, hard-earned Hollywood wisdom, and New Yorkinflected cheap shots. And maybe, just maybe, somebody will see fit to program a retrospective of Mazurskys films in the not-too-distant future.
Sun., Aug. 1, 4 p.m., 2010