Friday, April 29, 2011

Gazing through my gay lens

Thirty years ago, when I was a senior in high school, the library in my hometown ran a summer film festival in the basement. The early evening sun would still be harsh and blazing as each Thursday I ducked down the stairs into the cool darkness, where a 16mm projector would click away into the evening. There, flickering and silvery, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Alan Ladd, and Marlon Brando seduced me from the pull-down screen...seduced me into the world of beautiful male film idols, and into the dream world of classic film itself.

This blog will take a loving (and lustful) look at male beauty, sexuality, and homoeroticism in classic film and TV. Sometimes I will focus on a specific film or scene, sometimes a particular actor, sometimes a textual theme or film genre. I plan to survey not only the most famous films and biggest stars, but also (and especially) lesser-known pictures and B-movie actors, whose magnetism is none the less potent for having been overlooked by fandom. (Sometimes, less constrained by the studio system, these forgotten films and second-string movie men are all the more compelling and surprisingly frank.) Always my gaze will be that of a man appreciating the beauty of other men, and exploring the charged (frequently sexually charged) relationships between and among them.

Although classic film almost never dealt explicitly with male-male sexual relationships, often the bonds depicted verge on the intensity and complexity of the sexual, in ways that are fascinating (not to mention arousing) to explore.

So grab some popcorn, your boyfriend's hand (or whatever else of his you'd like to grab) and prepare to be spellbound in darkness with me.

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