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
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
Filmed during the months leading up to the 2009 presidential election in Iran, The Hunter still seethes with fury — and anticipates the blood that would spill after the vote. Rafi Pitts's oblique fourth feature opens with a clang of electric guitars and a 1980 photograph of Revolutionary Guards on motorcycles about to run over an upside-down U.S. flag. The din soon ends as we see Ali (Pitts, haunted and hollow) loading a rifle in the woods. The taciturn graveyard-shift warehouse security guard, recently released from jail for a never-specified crime, shuttles between work and home via Tehran's clogged highways while listening to Ayatollah Khamenei on the car radio. To avenge the deaths of his beloved wife and six-year-old daughter, killed during off-screen protests, Ali takes out two cops sniper-style and flees to a forest in the north. Pitts, who was born in 1967 in Iran and fled the country in 1981 for England, and cinematographer Mohammad Davudi frequently frame Ali in striking long shots: The protagonist is dwarfed by his surroundings, whether the labyrinthine entrance to his apartment building or the steep dirt incline he descends after killing the police officers. The open spaces stifle just as much as the claustrophobic hearing rooms and stairwells do in this season's other absorbing Iranian drama, Asghar Farhadi's A Separation.
March 30-April 9; Wed., April 11, 2012