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
Guy Maddins frozen reverie on Canadas Gateway to the West is barely defrosted by the warmth of the projector bulb. My Winnipeg opens with a bit of canned cheer in the form of the 50s booster ballad Wonderful Winnipeg. Soon, however, the filmmaker is conjuring up his own snowy, sleepy Winnipeg, a place of eternal winter and endless night. A movie of moody reflection, My Winnipeg is shot mainly in black and white, punctuated with near-subliminal intertitles, fake snow flurries, and the melancholy sounds of trains crossing the prairie. The filmmaker provides a turgid stream of consciousness, babbling on in an urgent, incantatory mock-travelogue stylewith recurring shots of his stand-in (Darcy Fehr) asleep as he rides the midnight special. Convinced that he must leave the city now!, Maddin instead finds himself back in childhood, living in a frame house fronted by his mothers beauty salon. Restaging his youth but making his own detours, Maddin transforms Winnipeg into a city of mystery. The worlds smallest park is a single tree; the sole respite from the citys flatness is the landfill mountain known as Garbage Hill. Most arcane are the hockey ritesand also the most personal: Maddin claims to have been born in the locker room of the Winnipeg Maroons now-demolished home. Who is alive anymore? he wonders as the movie wends toward closure. Its so hard to remember.
Thu., Nov. 6, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 7, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 8, 2, 4, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2008