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Issue Categories Archives: Art Memo

Who Wrote A Scarlet Pansy? The Plot Thickens

FORDHAM UNIVERSITY PRESS deserves our gratitude for making available the original 1932 version of A Scarlet Pansy, a minor classic of Modernism attributed to “Robert Scully.”

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Bernard Perlin, an Artist of Many Milieux

The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Bernard Perlin was born in 1918 in Richmond, Virginia. He was sent to art school in New York at age fifteen and had early success as a muralist for Depression-era public works projects.

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In Search of Schubert’s ‘Secret Love Life’

If Schubert was the musical center of this mostly male cultural group, the literary center was his best friend Franz Schooner, …

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Carl Wittman’s Place in Liberation History

Carl’s models for the Manifesto were Marx’s Communist Manifesto and the SDS Port Huron Statement. Consequently, it was written in the style of a left-wing screed.

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The Beatniks Smoldered in 1960

    A CHEAPLY MADE black-and-white film, The Beatniks (1960) was voice actor Paul Frees’ only directing venture. It succeeded with neither critics nor the public, and it boasts a pitiful 2.1 rating on IMDB. However, I would contend that this B-minus movie is significant for its homosexual subtext. The Beatniks was badly mistitled. Beatnik […]

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The Accidental Activist: Pasolini’s Italy

  PIER PAOLO PASOLINI (1922–1975) did not actively do much for gay rights in Italy, and yet he contributed to progress inadvertently by appearing in headlines over and over again as the country’s most controversial gay person. One reason that he didn’t do much for gay rights is that he was personally homophobic. He saw […]

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Biblical Epics As High Camp

A STORY often repeated in film history places Groucho Marx at the premiere of the 1949 Cecil B. DeMille epic Samson and Delilah. Posters of the massive, bare-chested Victor Mature served as the visual backdrop for anyone entering the theater that evening. After the movie’s debut, DeMille asked Groucho what he thought of the film. Groucho replied: “No picture can hold my interest where the leading man’s tits are bigger than the leading lady’s.”

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On First Looking into Sedgwick’s Epistemology

  MARKING the 25th anniversary of the publication of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s strange and difficult book The Epistemology of the Closet (1990) is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Let me try in a rather personal way. My first encounter with Sedgwick’s magnum opus occurred when I began researching my honors thesis. […]

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A Cinematic Trend Emerges: ‘Gays Gone Bad’

  EARLIER THIS YEAR, my film programming colleagues and I at Frameline—the San Francisco International lgbtq Film Festival—met to begin the always agonizing process of selecting our favorites from several hundred new films submitted by filmmakers from around the world, the goal being to assemble a representative snapshot of our cinematic moment. There are a […]

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N.Y. Showroom Models at Work and Play

  ONE OF MY ROLES as a senior features editor at Town & Country was that of men’s fashion editor, a subject and an arena that I didn’t know at all well but was hired to cover, as the editor-in-chief wanted someone who simply knew the expensive name brands. At my first interview, the editor […]

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