Can’t Stop the FUN! Movie Night with Tom of Finland Seura ry: | 27th March | Helsinki

Need we ask…
“Did Tom of Finland inspire The Village People?”

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Join members and board of the Tom of Finland Seura ry for the best-worst movie ever made. Get ready to be dazzled by mesmerizing choreographies, haunted by songs that will follow you around for weeks and to go home a bit confused (not about your sexuality but, the plot).

The Orion is presenting Can’t Stop the Music: A Sing Along screening. Review your lyrics and do whatever it takes to wake up those vocal cords!

Afterwards, we’ll strut over to Cavelier for a drink.

Friday, 4:30p

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A 1980 American musical comedy film directed by Nancy Walker. Written by Allan Carr and Bronté Woodard, the film is a pseudo-biography of disco’s Village People which bears only a vague resemblance to the actual story of the group’s formation. It was produced by Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment (formerly EMI Films), and distributed by independent distributor Associated Film Distribution (AFD).

Can’t Stop the Music is notorious for being the first winner of the Worst Picture Golden Raspberry Award, for it was a double feature of this and Xanadu that inspired John J. B. Wilson to start the Razzies. –Wikipedia

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Letters written by Tom of Finland during the war

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The authors of the book, Letters from War,
at Vapriikki Museum Center auditorium on Friday 20th March.

The book includes a chapter about the letters written by Touko Laaksonen (aka Tom of Finland, 1920-1991) during the Continuation War. The chapter is entitled, “With the Help of Music”, and depicts the role of music in Touko’s life as he taught singing and the playing of different instruments to his fellow soldiers, formed and led a chorus, entertained men by playing piano and most of all gave them strength, through the power of music, when they most needed it.

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Helsingin SanomatThe anthology also presents Tom of Finland’s letters from the army to home.

Susanna Luoto’s article in the book presents letters of Touko Laaksonen. Luoto is a journalist who curated the Post Museum’s Tom of Finland exhibit, Sealed with a Secret, and is preparing a book on his life.

According to her, the young Laaksonen is shown in the letters to be “anything else than his later trademark of a seductively self-conscious and robust men’s men.”

Rather the young Touko was a clean-cut, wholesome family boy dedicated to classical music, who was shocked by crassness of his fellow comrades-in-arms. His abilities as a draughtsman already emerged during the war.

Laaksonen started the military service in the infantry training center in spring 1940, soon after the conclusion of the Winter War. NCO was followed by the Helsinki Air Defence Regiment.

In October of 1943 Laaksonen was promoted to Lieutenant due to his achievements as head officer in the air battles over Helsinki. For the last months of the war Laaksonen was sent to Vyborg Bay.

During his nearly five-year service Laaksonen wrote plenty of letters to his sisters and parents.

In his first letter from the army to the folks back at home, he spoke of his sudden longing: “I wouldn’t have believed that just after a week and a half I would miss the piano so terribly.”

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How Gay Porn Helped Build the Gay Rights Movement

In 2002, pornographer Chuck Holmes’ name was installed over the San Francisco LGBT Center, and public outrage was swift. Detractors called the move — in recognition of the late gay mogul’s $1 million bequest to the beleaguered center — “insane,” fearing it would only fuel right-wing allegations about the gay community’s obsession with sex. What those critics missed, and what continues to missed over a decade later, is the role pornographers like Holmes played in building the gay rights movement we know today.

Several years ago, I set out to make a documentary about Holmes, Seed Money, which premieres this spring. During the process, I discovered how much we, as a community, owe to intrepid smut-peddlers like Chuck who risked their lives to help us live out ours.

You see, when the early homophile movement began in the early 1950s, the U.S. government didn’t differentiate between homosexual rights manifestos, gay erotica or dirty pictures. All were considered illegal, and using the postal service to distribute any of them could and did result in long prison sentences.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that pornographers, who had years of experience fighting those battles, were often prominent figures in the emerging homophile movement’s leadership. Jim Kepner, founder of the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, was a noted author of gay erotica. Hal Call, one of the first presidents of the Mattachine Society, the pioneering gay rights organization in San Francisco, was an adult film director and owner of the Adonis Bookstore.

Rather than be a liability, pornographers could provide a strategic advantage to the movement. They not only knew the legal restrictions (and how to get around them), they had the money to fight the obscenity battles that cleared the way for greater discussions of sexuality. Pornographers were the advance troops of our sexual revolution.

Homophile organizations like Mattachine and Daughters of Bilitis had publications, of course, but their reach — often just a few thousand circulation — was miniscule compared to that of “posing strap” magazines like Physique Pictorial and Tomorrow’s Man. It wasn’t political tracts, but pornography that provided most gay men with their first connection to — and awareness of — a larger gay culture.

READ THE COMPLETE STORY BY MIKE STABILEHuffPostGay

 

BOB MIZER, Physique Pictorial Artwork: TOM OF FINLAND

BOB MIZER, Physique Pictorial
Artwork: TOM OF FINLAND

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