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
Gleefully demonizing both the British chav working-class and the horror genre's usual target audience of mid-teen males, Eden Lake pits a well-to-do, soon-to-be-married couple (Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender) against a gang of obnoxious, bicycle-riding 14-year-olds. It's the epitomical rule of these films: Never, ever get confrontational with disagreeable people. We know that if you're out with your girl by a quiet lake, and your peace is disturbed by a group of hormonally charged young jerks, you'll be tempted to assert yourself, but seriously: Don't. Just leave. Of course, then there'd be no movie. Writer-director James Watkins, who previously co-wrote the UK suspense flick My Little Eye, expertly plays on the viewer's fears and prejudiceswho among us hasnt secretly wanted to smack the shit out of some wannabe-macho, prepubescent bully? But you'll likely feel queasy afterwards, upon realizing that the movie has you rooting for these lower-income kids to die at the hands of the disempowered yuppies. As a thriller, Eden Lake absolutely works, but feel-good entertainment it isnt. Don't bring a date.
Oct. 31-Nov. 13, 2008