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
We were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
In 1972, the American dream was coming apart at the seams. Watergate, Vietnam, and the Manson Family murders had ushered in an era of unapologetic brutality and deceit even the Summer Olympics ended in a massacre. The two-part series "Coming Apart: Two Views of 1972" looks at how American cinema greeted this brave new world with fascination and repulsion. F.T.A. (Fuck the Army), screening tonight, is a documentary about an antiwar road show starring Jane Fonda and her Klute co-star and then-boyfriend, Donald Sutherland. Amazingly, Hollywood was nearly mute on the subject of Vietnam while the war was being waged, and F.T.A. is a rare look at young soldiers speaking bluntly about their experience, interspersed with the earnest, if slightly bleary-eyed, political vaudeville. Despite favorable reviews, F.T.A. disappeared after a week, and was resurrected only recently through the efforts of present-day antiwar documentarian David Zeiger.
Unlike F.T.A., Wes Cravens grindhouse classic Last House on the Left, screening May 9, tackles the dehumanizing aspect of violence through immersion rather than resistance. By distorting an average American family beyond redemption and obliterating the line between crime and reckoning, Cravens low-budget debut blew open the doors of contemporary horror filmmaking. Since 1972, there have been countless imitators and a remake, but few have achieved the lingering effect of the original.
Thu., May 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., May 9, 7:30 p.m., 2009