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
Modest but cosmic, Kelly Reichardts Wendy and Lucy is a movie whose sad pixie heroine, Wendy (Michelle Williams), already skating on thin ice, stumbles and, without a single support to brace herself, slides into Americas lower depths. Introduced calling for her dog, Lucy, Wendy loses first her liberty (briefly), then Lucy (again), and finally, her car in the course of a dead-end road trip from deepest Indiana to the Alaskan frontier. Wendy does encounter a few locals, notably a pitiless garage mechanic (Will Patton) and a sympathetic security guard (Walter Dalton), who charitably allows her to use his cell phone as her contact with the dog pound. But, save for Lucy, Wendy is alone; the movie is essentially a solo turn. Trembling throughout on the verge of a tearful breakdown, but far too dignified to allow her character to choke up, Williams delivers a sensationally nuanced performance that, were it not so resolutely undramatic, would constitute an aria of stoical misery. Spare, actor-driven, socially aware, and open-ended, Wendy and Lucy has obvious affinities to Italian neorealism. Reichardt has choreographed one of the most stripped-down existential quests since Vittorio De Sica sent his unemployed worker wandering through the streets of Rome searching for his purloined bicycle, and as heartbreaking a dog story as De Sicas Umberto D. But Wendy and Lucy is also the most melancholy of American sagas.
Sun., April 26, 2, 4, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Mon., April 27, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Tue., April 28, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2009