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
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
Andrea Dunbar wasnt a social critic so much as a painfully aware observer of her environment. She spent her entire short life in a housing project also the setting of her breakthrough plays in Bradford, an industrial city in the north of England where sex, drink, and drugs provided the only succor. The Arbor, written when she was 15 and produced four years later at the Royal Court Theatre in London, mirrored her experience as a pregnant teenager with an abusive boyfriend. Rita, Sue, and Bob Too! was an equally blunt but much funnier work about an affair between two teenage girls and a middle-aged man. Dunbar died in 1990, a few months shy of her 30th birthday, and her life and work are recalled and re-created (via actors lip-synching to tape-recorded interviews) in Clio Barnards remarkable new, genre-blurring film, The Arbor. In conjunction with that, were treated to a revival of the late, great Alan Clarkes ribald, gritty, and controversial 1986 screen adaptation of Rita, Sue, and Bob Too! Dunbars caustic view of British life on the outs evokes the bad old days of Margaret Thatcher and, unexpectedly, points toward a possible American future under the New Austerity.
Sat., Aug. 20; Mon., Aug. 22; Wed., Aug. 24, 2011