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
With its bristling topicality, ritzy cast and Roger Deakinss gracefully bleak cinematography, John Patrick Shanleys adaptation of his 2005 play about an old-school Catholic nun in the early 1960s who goes after a priest she suspects of sexual abuse, is prime Oscar bait. In Shanleys entertainingly callow hands, provocation passes for complexity, ushered in periodically by waves of premonitory winter weather that coats the Bronx parochial school where a timid young sister (Amy Adams), unnerved by what looks like unusually close contact between the schools well-liked priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and its first black pupil, reports her misgivings to the school principal, Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep). Before you can say independent inquiry, off goes the bonneted termagant to grind the machinery of blind justice. Though Shanley throws in some clues to enlarge our perceptions of nun and priest, Doubt is only marginally about moral uncertainty, which in any case he confuses with a preposterous moral relativism. Its more about the sins of a nosy old biddy pulling out the stops when going through the official channels of a male-dominated Catholic Church would get her nowhere. Knowing what we know now, I was left wishing there had been more vigilant old bats around like Sister Aloysius to shield Catholic children from the predators within.
Starts: Jan. 23. Daily, 2009