EYE ON THE GUY: ALAN B. STONE & THE AGE OF BEEFCAKE (Philip Lewis, Jean-Francois Monette, Canada). 49 minutes. Some subtitles. Tuesday (May 23), 9:30 pm. Isabel Bader. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
If you missed this smart film at Hot Docs, here's another chance to learn about one of the country's unsung heroes, Alan B. Stone , a sickly, introverted man who took pictures of scantily clad young athletes in his suburban Montreal home for closeted gay men in the 1950s.
Enjoying a subject that practically films itself, directors Philip Lewis and Jean-Françcois Monette bulk it up by placing the male pin-up boom in a historical context. They effectively capture the feel of post-war Montreal, and show how Stone's time in the Boy Scouts - which ironically provided his first professional photography gig - contributed to his aesthetic.
They also make a good case for Stone as a serious photographer, especially after the rise of hardcore porn in the late 60s forced him to find new subjects. As a bonus, the directors have tracked down several of his models, so we hear their first-hand stories and, movingly, see the results of time on their egos and bodies.