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 lucid Swedish indie gem, adapted for the screen by John Ajvide Lindqvist from his novel and directed with imagination and restraint by Tomas Alfredson, releases the vampire movie from overwrought conventions like close-ups on trembling bosoms and bloody fangs, offering instead a coolly balanced and utterly compelling examination of alienation and love. Let the Right One In follows the burgeoning relationship between Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), a pale 12-year-old tormented by bullies and ignored by adults, and his new neighbor, Eli (Lina Leandersson), who is more or less 12 years old and, though less pale, a vampire (albeit one who needs her father to bring her blood). Eli enters the friendship reluctantly, but it becomes apparent that each offers what the other lacksOskar gets strength to face down the bullies, while she gains acceptance, love, and maybe a new blood supplier. Set in a wintry Stockholm suburb, the film is lit like a Renaissance painting. In addition, the audacious sound designthe silence of snow broken by faint sounds of a child breathing or eyelashes fluttering; the dense, vividly impressionistic noises of the vampire feedingand wise performances from Hedebrant and (especially) Leandersson infuse the film with a low-key naturalism that allows for maximum believability. Right One returns to the archetype of the immortal its poetic cohesiveness and the power of myth.
Thu., Feb. 19, 7 & 9:25 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 20, 7 & 9:25 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 21, 2, 4:25, 7 & 9:25 p.m., 2009