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 year, Disney announced plans to revive the magical, majestical, supercali- fragilistical title character of Mary Poppins. We can’t find too much fault with the choice of Emily Blunt in the starring role, and we are pleased that this won’t be a “reimagining” of P.L. Travers’ original tale. (Travers wrote many more adventures for her English governess, so there’s plenty of material to draw upon.) Still, even if the composers are Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and they have elicited the support of at least half of the Sherman Brothers who wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” we have a difficult time imagining a movie that can compete in our child brain with the five-time Oscar winner. Granted, Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent left a lot to be desired, and maybe the movie does take its own sweet time getting started — to say nothing of those interminable penguins — but we’ve done some internal editing, leaving nothing but a sweet aftertaste that, during this month’s “Wine Down with a Movie,” might be accompanied by free tipples of Domaine Chan- don.More
Soul Power documents the three-day music festival that accompanied the iconic 1974 Muhammad Ali/George Foreman Rumble in the Jungle boxing match in Zaire. Culled by director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte from over 125 hours of footage that was shot by Paul Goldsmith, Kevin Keating, Roderick Young, and Albert Maysles, and then relegated to the vaults after director Leon Gast didnt use it in his Oscar-winning 1996 documentary When We Were Kings, Soul Power features performances by Celia Cruz, the Spinners, Fania All-Stars, Bill Withers, B.B. King, Miriam Makeba, and more. The concerts were meant to be a cultural exchange between African and African-American musicians (the late, great Cruz fiercely reps Cuba in a movie-stealing number), but were briefly imperiled after a Foreman eye injury forced a postponement of the fight. When finally mounted, the shows became the stuff of pop culture folklore. Given the ferocious power of many of the artists, and the dreary state of modern Black pop (the recent death of Michael Jackson, not to mention Vibe, only underscoring the situation), Soul Power itself might well be subtitled When We Were Kings.
Wed., Oct. 7, 2, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 8, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2009