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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973
File 015
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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973 - File 015. 1973-06. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 4, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3445/show/3438.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1973-06). The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973 - File 015. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3445/show/3438

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973 - File 015, 1973-06, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 4, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3445/show/3438.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973
Contributor
  • Frank, Phil
Date June 1973
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 28912012
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).; Pages 8 and 13 of this newspaper issue are numbered incorrectly.
Item Description
Title File 015
Transcript PETEI. BURIAN Nights gets back to basics, but it's a good movie, too Nights in Black Leather, a new male film being released by Jaguar Productions, defies all the progressive steps taken by gay films in the past year. Its story is wispy to the point of non-existence, at least 95 per cent of the 108-minute running time is devoted to sex, and these interludes are absolutely end- What is even more remarkable, in light of the foregoing, Nights in Black Leather turns out to be a very engrossing and entertaining film. Its success is due to the star and the cameraman-director. Nights in Black Leather is what is known in the movie industry as a star vehicle, a story designed to showcase the talents and attributes of the main actor. Barbra Streisand's movies are the most prominent example that comes to mind. Star vehicles are also pretty risky business, unless built around a per-. son with so much physical presence that an audience's attention can be diverted from what usually turns out to be production deficiencies and scripting inadequacies surrounding the venture. Nights in Black Leather has everything riding on the anticipated popularity of its star, Peter Burian, and in this case, the risk could be termed minimal. Burian is a dark-blonde, blue- eyed beauty that would make even the dead rise again, with the kind of body you have to start making plans for when you're about 12. His ass could be nominated for a Golden Globes Award. The clothes (or perhaps more appropriately, costumes) he wears in the picture leave nothing to the imagination. He must have sprayed them on. Audiences will not have much call to use their imaginations, however, for Burian wears little or nothing throughout the picture. But even monumental beauty can lose its luster ifbadly photographed, so Peter Burian was fortunate to have a cameraman Page 14 whose lens practically caresses each and every pore of his body. Photographer Ignatio Rutkowski has taken the ingredients of a standard fuck film and lifted them to the level of visual art. His work shows a strong influence of European films, particularly those shot by Henri Decae and Claude Renoir. With muted colors and judicious use of highlights in appropriate places, there are sequences in Nights in Black Leather that are a veritable symphony of pictorial splendor. He even lights his scenes in ways that disregard probability of success, capturing shots of exquisite beauty that many wouldn't dare attempt. Rutkowski's background is in still photography. Prior to filming Nights in Black Leather, he had made only on 15-minute short subject. But, like Gordon Parks, who also tackled his first movie with tenets ofportraitlensing, Rutkowski takes chances in applying the same principles to the motion picture form and makes them work, with brilliant results. The story in Nights in Black Leather, which can be noted and immediately forgotten, is of a German boy writing to his homeland friends, describing sexual adventures he had in San Francisco. These episodes include a jack-off phone call, a casual street pickup, an S&M encounter, a drag party, and an afternoon he spent with two lovers he met at a gym. These sequences are bridged with introductory voice-over narration that teeters on the brink of outrageous floridity, like something remembered from a 1950 gay novel. Ignatio Rutkowski wrote the narration, read by the star, Peter Burian. Burian obviously still has difficulty in mentally translating his thoughts into fluid English because of the relatively short time he has lived in the U.S. This is evidenced in both the improvised dialog and narration. It's not a drawback to enjoying the film because of his ingratiating handling of the problerrii If anything, it creates more empathy with his audience. If we were to single out special highlights oi Nights, they would include the blatantly erotic phone call, the artistic sensuality of a scene in the woods, which takes place in a hut with transparent walls, and the accurate subtlety of the S&M scene. (Burian is apparently into this, playing it at the proper depth. Because of Burian's arian looks and background, the S&M sequence could have fallen heir to a residue of sinister implications, but both he and Rutkowski have taken care to divorce the preceedings from the "Master Race" theory.. They confront the problem point blank in the preceding narration, describing one of Burian's tricks who was into Nazi uniforms and swastikas, and Burian didn't have the heart to deflate by revealing that he had voted Socialist in the last German election. As the S&M scene is constructed, it does bring a time of_German militancy "to the viewer's mind, so perhaps the filmmakers were wise to bring it up themselves and dispose of it so they could get on with the story. Included in the cast are Rick ledin, Al Joffrey, Tom Webb, and Jim Salem—all handsome and well- built young men. They complement, rather then counterpoint Peter Burian, making Nights a visual triumph for audiences with a fundamental interest in sex and bodies. This is probably as good a time as any to introduce an inter-related subject, especially as it applies to Nights in Black Leather and several other films 1 have reviewed lately. Recently I was accused by a producer of male films of taking these movies too seriously, that they weren't meant to be judged in devastating detail. His statement was occasioned by, as you may have guessed, the decidedly mixed review his latest effort had received. I think the allegation is well foun-- ded. It is true, I have reviewed gay films in some detail, but I disagree with the contention they were taken too seriously. When the lights go up after a screening, it isn't much fun having to affect a wan smile because what I have just seen might as well have had a shell with Coast Federal Savings superimposed over it. If these were movies of someone's summer vacation, inflicted on you without charge in their living room, it would be tactful to say how enjoyable they were. It's altogether another matter when the films are shown to the public, whose patronage is solicited on the basis of product quality and who have to pay a steep price for the privilege of seeing them. Reviews of films are strictly one person's opinion, replete with his preferences, prejudices, and laced with his experience as a moviegoer. There will be as many differing opinions as there are reviewers. Charles Champlin, movie critic for the L.A. Times, put the whole subject of reviewing in the proper perspective recently by stating: "A critic can't lead audiences to movies they don't care to see or keep them away from those they do. But he can, if he's lucky, help them to know what they're going to see and, if he's very lucky, sometimes persuade them to take chances." It is primarily because of the high admission price charged for gay movies that I have reviewed them in such detail. I believe that the prospective audience should be made completely aware of the commodity they are buying, so they can evaluate for themselves whether it is worth the money to be spent. The films are judged by those that preceded them in the particular genre; naturally some will be better and some will not, but again, that will be only one opinion. The producers 'seriously' intend that the movies return a profit to justify the investment, so audiences should also be allowed to 'seriously*' select the one they want to see, and this selective process will (or should) be on the basis of quality. That is why we will continue to take the films 'too seriously', if only as a service to our readers. In the instant case.of Nights in Black Leather, audiences can be entertained without any involvement and will have gotten their money's worth, but the fact remains that it is a superficial movie. The surfaces are visually glossy, beautiful, ornate, and it's all designed to divert attention from the emptiness underneath. Perhaps that's why I'm furious with myself for liking it so much for what it does achieve, instead of disliking it from an awareness of the film it could have been. Both Peter Burian and Ignatio Rutkowski have a talent for making good movies, but they have used only a fraction of it in their current effort. Two artists with the capability wo working in marble are instead sculpting with papier mache. We hope their next project exercises all their obvious talents, not just a small portion. Harold Fairbanks The above article was taken from "THE ADVOCATE" at the re- quest of our advertiser. King & Queen Zues, George &Rita Judges in Miss Gay Lake Charles - Genger, Jerry Clark, Charlene Barbaria, Harris Settly and - ?
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