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
Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his sidekick Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) are the new marshal and deputy facing down a posse of bad guys in Appaloosa, New Mexico, circa 1882, in Harriss latest directorial effort. Appaloosa has the shifting boundaries of friendship and love on its mind, but this isnt a movie likely to raise comparisons to the tortured revisionism of Unforgiven, or even to last years hyperactive shoot-em-up, 3:10 to Yumaand thats surely fine by Harris. He and his collaborators are playing it straight with a timeless male fantasyhorse, hat, six-shootera traditional approach that will please moviegoers like my dad and yours: men who walked out of No Country for Old Men puzzled, feeling like theyd been cheated out of a climactic gun battle between lawman and villain. Harris keeps the shootouts comingtheres even a run-in with some canny Indiansbut in this efficient western, there are no close-ups of shifting eyes and nervous trigger-fingers, just sudden, over-in-a-blink violence. Truth be told, it probably wouldnt have killed the director to belabor the tension a little more, but hey, real men dont drag things out.
Nov. 11-13, 2008