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
With neighborhood institutions like the 21 Club closing to make way for yuppie cocktail bars, Brown Jug remains an oasis — and one that takes full advantage of the state's operating hours window, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist breathes life into a celluloid fossil, lovingly animating an unproduced script by filmmaker Jacques Tati. Chomet sets The Illusionist on the cusp of the 1960s, around the time Tati wrote the script as a follow-up to his hit Mon Oncle. The title character, a middle-aged, itinerant stage magician given a vaguely aristocratic mien, as well as Tati's actual name, Tatischeff is introduced with a series of mildly disastrous performances in Paris (where he is compelled to play straight man to his obstreperous rabbit) and London (sharing the bill with an obnoxious quartet of proto-Beatles mop tops). The magician gives his most appreciated performance in a backwater Scottish pub. When he leaves for Edinburgh, an unprepossessing slip of a girl named Alice tags along, convinced that his conjuring tricks really are magic. At once recognizable and improbable, sketchy and detailed, Edinburgh is, the illusionist aside, Chomet's main character. Tatischeff and Alice move into a hotel full of depressed circus types and separately explore a city populated by cheerful drunks. Alice longs for new, grown-up clothes and, as if by magic, the illusionist provides them. (Unknown to her, he's been working nights for extra money.) No less impressive than Chomet's character animation is his sense of timing. For its 80 minutes, the movie creates the illusion that not just Tati but his form of cerebral slapstick lives.
March 18-24, 2011