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
John Ford was an early practitioner of silent cinemas straight-ahead narratives, moving up as a journeyman in cowboy movies to a respected spot as a staff director at William Foxs Fox Studios by 1927. But the studio had greater ambitions and hired, with a great deal of publicity, the acclaimed German director F.W. Murnau, who made Nosferatu and Faust. Given carte blanche, Murnau and his largely German staff produced Sunrise, importing moody shadows and mobile cameras direct from Berlin onto the Fox backlot. Young Ford was deeply impressed by Murnaus explorations, and his next several films absorbed that style, fusing it with his unpretentious training to produce the offhand and unforced poetry associated with the 40 years of sound masterpieces that would follow. Tonight, see Fords recently rediscovered Upstream from 1927 as well as Sunrise at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The Sosin Ensemble is on hand to score Upstream (7 p.m.), while Giovanni Spinelli plays the electric guitar to accompany Sunrise (9:15 p.m.). The festival includes films from Japan, Italy, Soviet Russia, and Germany; early cartoons from Walt Disney; a rare American film from Douglas Fairbanks (Mr. Fix-It, Saturday at 6:30 p.m.); and a 1920 version of Huckleberry Finn (Friday at 2 p.m.) by William Desmond Taylor, whose 1922 murder was never solved. The Goose Woman (Saturday at 4 p.m.) is a 1925 film loosely based on another true-life murder case, featuring a moving performance by Louise Dresser as a drunk who had once been an opera star and seeks a return to the public eye.
Thursdays-Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: July 14. Continues through July 17, 2011