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
Cheerful in outline and yet prone to maudlin bulges in its middle, Today's Special stars Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi as Samir, a sous-chef on the make in New York City. A second-generation immigrant with parents safely stowed in Queens, Samir has been toiling in the city's elite kitchens, looking to catch a break between plating pea purees and buttering up the boss (Dean Winters). Director David Kaplan (Year of the Fish) brings a light, assured rhythm to the early scenes of Samir at work, where a new hire (Jess Weixler) gets his attention and the pressure to move on (and up) is palpable. When an upstart is promoted over him -- Samir's cooking apparently lacks imagination -- and his father (Harish Patel) has a heart attack, the dream of apprenticing in Paris devolves into managing the broke-ass family restaurant. If Samir's resistance to Indian cuisine is vaguely sourced, his avoidance of his parents is too well understood: Both are walking malapropisms without a kind word for their unmarried, un-medical-degreed son. Mandvi (who co-wrote the script with Jonathan Bines) does well as the straight man, but his journey to identity (chaperoned by a magical cabbie/world-class chef played by Naseeruddin Shah) strays too far into tacky ethnic farce.
Nov. 19-25, 2010