Well, that’s not really the live issue. Not one but two Tom of Finland movies are apparently in process. Neither producer acknowledges the existence of the other. (The producer of the “official” film, Tom, denies that. The other producer ignored my question.) If either movie, or both, actually came to fruition, the producers could easily hire any number of Finns to play Touko Laaksonen at his various ages.
What’s harder to cast is the idealized model in Tom of Finland’s drawings, generically named Kake in the comic books that are not as well known. As the queens on DataLounge pointed out, not only do all Kakes make mesomorphs and roidheads look like 98-pound weaklings, they all have the same nose. It’s a short, flat nose, and it occupies the top of the flowchart when it comes to casting a live actor to embody the illustrated man.
The problem has a solution, and his name is Jon Bernthal, a big strong strapping specimen with in fact just the right nose.
Here we have to be sensitive to Hollywood’s century of casting against type. Bernthal is a hot Jew (if only he were also a ginger), and Tom of Finland knew not of Jews. He could barely draw blacks. For his lovemap was drawn from his time in the Finnish army, from its enlisted men and officers and most of all from their uniforms.
Tony Shalhoub isn’t Italian; Scarlett Johansson (q.v.) is not Japanese; Jon Bernthal is not a Finn, real or imagined.
He is, however, perfect for the role. And he’d do it! Bernthal and Andrew Lincoln achieved the impossible when, in The Walking Dead, they hugged and nuzzled and held and grappled each other with complete violation of each other’s personal space yet no eroticism whatsoever, only brotherhood. I have never seen this before or since.
Here, compare the casting in Beefcake, a film that still holds up and that starred a cast of thousands of very game young men. I know one of them is mildly embarrassed by the whole thing, though I told him not to be. Then there is Bernthal manqué Josh Peace, who these days sports a shaven head but has always been the lissome and open figure you see in Beefcake. I’m sure he looks back fondly on his time there. (Despite walking by his house for years, and despite observing him stride manfully about town, I found no way to ask him. I am still sure that’s how he feels about Beefcake.)
Imagine Jon Bernthal as Tom of Finland’s ideal. An instant classic. Bernthal could just stand there and look beautiful. Easily.
It’ll never happen. Niklas Högner plays Kake in the “official” Tom of Finland film.
Further concerns: Nordics thinking they speak good enough English and can replicate even an iota of the American experience that was half Touko Laaksonen’s life in his later years. In either or both films, I expect Finns looking Finnish, and speaking English in an accent they by definition cannot even detect, acting as “Americans.”
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.22 13:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Snowpiercer is a totalizing visual obsession with returning one’s gaze to the symmetrical features of, the gleaming blue eyes of, every bristle of hair on American actor Chris Evans.
To watch Snowpiercer is to enact the “concentration, immensity and intensity” of a timeless Hollywood masculine archetype, a man “ust tall and handsome enough, just manly enough, good with his hands, nonjudgemental, with intelligent eyes and a rich sonorous voice, shivering, cold, vulnerable, needy, beaten to shit and crying.”
The Koreans who created this picture – as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl showed, Koreans are working on another plane of cinematic existence – would be expected to direct such adoration at a blond or a ginger, two somatotypes unknown in their land. But not even with fair delicate Jamie Bell do they do that. Snowpiercer is a hindbrain obsession with finding an excuse to look at Evans’ face over and over again, and, implicitly, an obsession with how that face diverges from Koreans’. An exemplar of the narcissism of small differences, Chris Evans is as Kim Novak to Hitchcock.
If my analysis stretches the bounds of credulity, you must be an heterosexualist male. Cinema is not all about you. Besides, I can prove it.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.14 13:17. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Fuck-Yeah Tumblères are indeed what the Post said they are – “the happiest blogs on the Web.” I was pleased with how this lamestream-media article dealt with the obscenity built into every title (though it needed to use nonbreaking hyphens). I was even more pleased when the hack, Julia Carpenter, chose a wise instead of a trite example: Fuck Yeah, Brutalism is an ongoing work of scholarship with a six-digit subscriber base.
Then we have Fuck Yeah, Martin Freeman, which illegally but usefully reposts dozens and dozens of photographs of the best-dressed man in England. Freeman to the Times of London:
Many of his clothes are made by the Soho tailor Mark Powell. “What Mark doesn’t know about street fashion and style isn’t worth knowing,” he says. “All the things I’ve been into since I was nine, from teddyboy to skinhead to soulboy to mod, he’s all over it, gets every reference. I also go to George Dyer, the last tailor standing on the Walworth Road, who has a loyal clientele of dodgy old mods and soulboys. I really love Paul Smith and his designs….
“I like people who like clothes. I immediately trust men who are into clothes, even though they could turn out to be horrible people. There is an intelligence around caring about what you wear.”
I have previously laboured to explain to homely, pudgy, body-rejecting hateful downtown progressives (again: tautological), that appearance matters. The “travel-sized” M. Freeman, who is a tad full of himself and has bragged about his big house, redeems that by looking so great absolutely all the time. A sizable contribution to his overall look is his uncanny liminal quantum-state fair hair, which is never the same shade twice but is also never naturally black.
Of all the photographs on Fuck Yeah, Martin Freeman, it is the one I have cropped and included here (origin unknown!) that shows his uncanny colour sense.
It will now be disclosed that for some years I have imagined a kind of independent film, already a doomed prospect right there and more befitting a previous century, in which some duo from the Hart/Freeman/Simm Axis are longtime lovers into whose lives the other one enters. But how? And given that Martin Freeman is wildly better looking than the other two even when calibrated on the sliding British scale inescapable here, how does one make that work?
Why is the only image I have of one of them at the wheel of a right-hand-drive BMW en route home? What happens then?
Further, could Freeman ever be remotely credible as an homosexualist? Not at his current age, I don’t think.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.01 17:11. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Dan Rhatigan (q.v.) has completely blown the rendering of his title, and has used an image layout that is sure to fail in the future, and might simply just delete his posting (he’s done it before), but he shows definitively that “indie style magazines” have a defined “style.” (The headline is correctly written as “The Indie-Style-Mag Style” and no other way, save for capitalization.)
Gay males understand themselves for once when they get older. Mike Albo (q.v.):
It has taken me a long time to understand that we are souls in physical bodies having human experiences.
There is this nostalgia for the rage we see in something like How to Survive a Plague.
To tell the story of someone who understands they have been living under fear… can’t understand where “fear” is in his body until he knows this…. I am trying to feel things in my body, which is hard to do. When someone says something like “Where do you feel that?” or “What does that feel like?” I have a really hard time answering…. The more you explore, the more you understand where things are in your body.
Elsewhere, Albo is far too kind to lamestream publishers, especially those run by gay men like Jonathan Galassi.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.01 16:06. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Years ago, I documented the unsolvable problem of the male nude. I also said: “Having neither focus nor line, bears photograph atrociously.”
True most of the time, including in nearly all of Fer77’s photographs of dark-haired Spanish bears, indistinguishable from all dark-haired Caucasian bears of all nationalities. But, almost by accident, Fer77 updates Pierre et Gilles and James Bidgood for the era, now a generation old, of digital photo manipulation. (Left [alternate]; right.)
Just fantastical enough.
Incidentally, with the machinations necessary to legally download original photographs for criticism and commentary like this, plus the browser bug that makes such downloading impossible without extraordinary measures, plus spinning pizza of death over and over again (even in simple actions like overshooting items in a browser’s History menu), plus GraphicConverter’s slowness, plus incomprehensible titles like
DSC_0963 B 2 that made one original photo unfindable once it disappeared minutes after it had spent days in a browser tab, plus uploading an edited image, producing this tiny posting took almost an hour. It will be read by almost no one and appreciated by fewer.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.01 15:25. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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In a previous lifetime, I excerpted the only experimental novel I ever found interesting: Ratz Are Nice (PSP). Read the excerpts out loud, in any dialect you wish.
No one is going to write a Kathy Acker–manquée biography of its author, Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite (no relation). They’re both dead, but this may be the news to you in Braithwaite’s case. It was to me.
Self-evidently this gay black Forces vet from Quebec killed himself – the form of demise the culture demands from eldergays and anyone who does not or cannot pay his own freight. I’m not next, but somebody will be, and fuck-me pumps in size 13 will prance on our graves. We cannot die off fast enough for queers, trannies, LGBTs, and their respectable enablers in the lamestream media.
I am Shields-compliant (also Paglia‑) in that I cannot deal with novels, a Victorian form even in science-fiction camouflage. I am somehow a dozen pages into Black Deutschland, which title Braithwaite could have lived. Pace Brottman, sometimes the movie is better; it is much more interesting to listen to authors interviewed by an eldergay intellectual Jew, a triple tautology.
Ratz Are Nice is barely a novel, more of a cultural positioning statement, said culture being “co-opted” and on the verge of extinction (Doc Martens “de‑recontextualized”).
In donning the Black persona, symbolized through the silver jacket, Brian finally does what everyone has been attempting to do throughout the book. Brian is killed – his soul is killed, through that burden of the weight of the Black youth – the Black persona, that persona of deglamoured oppression. He has achieved the goal of being Black but he is unprepared to handle something that the Blacks are raised to deal with through centuries of struggle – you’d suppose.
It took decades of uptight, rule-governed severity and utter yet abject correctness to get to a point where I ate Braithwaite for breakfast. My culture is on the verge of extinction. I memorized the spatial location of his books at TRL, now the only remaining copies (if they go he does), and sat there reading them, pulled apart by booth of my wide finger tipped handz.
I ate fucked-up prose for breakfast. “Last Exit to Victoria”:
…as a child I was told that not knowing the alphabet will cause illiteracy. It’ll send you into a drugged-out gangland life of white-trash nightmares and corner-boy peddling to homosexuals, who are professional players, obsessed with age and willing to drag it and you into emptiness. That in knowing the letters, I’ll know that they assemble to construct various images that become words. Words are the narrative transformation of the images. Printing a page of unbroken words is like a fresh tattoo. It captures a moment/place, sentiment and period. It orchestrates the body in motion as it flexes to move a pen/strike at a key/form a fist/lift a drink or move to a rhythm. The words become the unspoken intertextuality of ethnic, racial and cultural metaphoric speech. The meter of casual dialogue = a rhythm/noise/visual bass, a soundtrack to a post-literate train of thought. […]
Slayer is for the fury and speed and violence that the book has. Deathmetal is the living desire of the neo-redneck burnout. It’s all going after the sport of brutality – the art of hurting someone. The walking jokes, with targets on their backs…. The only violence is the way the words appear on the page, marked by the slashes that connote rhythm of speech and interrupted thought. They are like semicolons = / the // are colons and so are the = signs. Sometimes the – move out to separate speech – someone takes lead//does a solo.
Nobody wanted someone this difficult and “intersectional” in the wrong way. Crocodile tears:
Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite. It’s incredibly sad news. I hadn’t heard from him in years. There was a time there when we were corresponding regularly. He had a novel, an opera, I believe he called it, and he asked me to help him find a publisher. I did what I could – it wasn’t much, but editors did see it, and loved it, but the publishing deals fell through, for reasons I don’t know. Our friendship kind of fizzled out – he wrote to me and asked if I could send him money. I had no money. I would have sent him money if I’d had it. He was a handful, but he wrote beautiful, beautiful books. Beautiful, original books. Bless him.
I got a piece of mail today… from the government of Canada. It is addressed to the Estate of Lawrence Braithwaite. It is the first I knew of his passing. Lawrence lived in my basement suite for three years (’02–’04). He was garrulous, inventive, argumentative, not a great listener, highly intelligent and a disaster as a housekeeper.
He had this big German shepherd dog named Heindrich who went everywhere with him. I had a dog too so we had plenty of opportunity to chat.
I had him up for dinner several times.
Lawrence was a very interesting character.
Can you imagine being a black anglo Quebecker saddled with the name Braithwaite, redolent as it is of token tragic-mulatto Radio-Canada TV personalities? Basically every black person in Quebec de l’époque presumptively had the name Braithwaite. I’d leave too, but not to Afghanistan, and I sure as shit wouldn’t pick Victoria, B.C., where the only other gay black male is halfway to a decathlete, handsome, winsome, smart, a dense pack of muscle with ten inches uncut and the luckiest white bf. Everybody wanted him. He’s the minimum ante you need to survive as a non-Amaechi gay army of one.
Put enough ones together and you get a real army. Not sufficient for Braithwaite – but it’s early in my process, and all I can save are the animals I don’t eat or wear, not every wayward soul you or I didn’t know we cared about till he died. Early in my process, but it’s happening.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.04.27 12:57. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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