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
Like many characters Clint Eastwood has played in his six-decade screen career, recently widowed Korean War vet Walt Kowalski is a man outside of his own time hurled by circumstance into direct conflict with the present. That transition occurs when the racist Walt steps across the property line in his economically depressed Detroit suburb and into the lives of the Hmong immigrant family next door, including the introverted, teenage boy, Thao (Bee Vang), who, menaced by a local gang, has made an unsuccessful bid at stealing Walts car. But if Gran Torino seems at first glance to be a gently un-p.c., geriatric crowd-pleaser of the Space Cowboys variety, it soon becomes clear that Eastwood is merely using the bass line of a butt-kicking Clint Eastwood action movie to play a series of complex variations on his career-abiding themes. The thing that haunts a man most is what he isnt ordered to do, Walt says, and the thing that has long haunted Eastwood is the legacy of American violence and the false heroic myths on which that legacy has been written. For him, romanticized movie violence long ago lost its allure, and at least since Unforgiven (a film that this one in many ways mirrors), the act of killing another human being has been depicted as one that leaves a permanent scar on mens psyches. In Gran Torino, that strain of investigation reaches its apotheosis in an inversion of Unforgivens climactic barroom standoff, a scene that brings the curtain down on Eastwoods cycle of urban-crime films as hauntingly as the earlier one did on his Westerns.
Wed., May 13, 2, 7 & 9:25 p.m.; Thu., May 14, 7 & 9:25 p.m., 2009