Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Films and Filming Magazine
Films and Filming which ran from 1954-1990 never made this claim for itself but no one can be in any doubt that this was a magazine for gay men when, for much of it's time such things were either illegal or in their infancy. Under the proprietorship of Philip Dosse and the editorship of Robin Bean (and others), the covers and coverage became more and more gay until it was barely possible to claim that these are even 'coded' for the eye of the closet homosexual of the day. No other supposedly mainstream magazine was going to give front cover status to Jarman's Jubilee and Sebastiane or Pink Narcissus. But they also managed to find an 'angle' on some otherwise unpromising titles; you might be wondering what little known independent gay film is illustrated on the front of April 1973 (below), in fact this was the still chosen to illustrate Zeffirelli's Brother Sun Sister Moon. Full frontal male nudity was not unknown in a way that wouldn't be tolerated today even.
There is a very helpful paper on the history of Films and Filming by Maruo Giori at acedemia.edu, you have to jump through a few hoops to download it but it's worth it.
I rather liked this description of Robin Bean from someone who knew him a little on an online forum about the magazine "very mysterious, dressed in black, a cloak even, tended to and fawned over by various young men."