getting physical with straight men, calendar style.
Between August 2006 and July 2008, Butch Cordora of In Bed with Butch fame was on a mission, that being to photograph a set of exclusively heterosexual men for an all nude calendar, dedicated to recreating some of the most iconic images of popular culture. But there was a catch. For here each model would be photographed naked alongside an openly gay man, that being Philadelphia television host Cordora.
The result is this revealing, if tedious, documentary, that of a "making of" piece that perfectly illustrates how some men, regardless of their sexuality, are more relaxed with their naked self than others, whether it be in front of a camera or not. Indeed of those who volunteered for the project, some are clearly more comfortable, perhaps too comfortable with Cordora's at times "hands on" approach. Almost none had any issues with the shoot, nor for that matter of what people would think about them afterward, with the line "if people think I'm gay, who cares" being as good as universal.
That said, the whole process soon gets repetitive and frankly is as homoerotic as watching paint dry. Thankfully Cordora makes far more than just an enthusiastic participant, his focused mind having seen him "fail to renew" his working relationship with photographer Tony Ward, after Ward committed the sin of introducing female nudity on set. Sure there are creative conflicts, occasional regrets and stage fright, let alone enough exposed members for concerns over public indecency laws to enter the equation. And that's when Butch could get hold of them, (pun), given the task of finding exclusively straight models willing to pose with an openly gay man, proved to be an uphill struggle from the onset. Indeed of the fifty-nine men asked to participate, forty-eight declined, none of whom were willing to state their reasons why on camera, preferring instead to leave comments the caption way.
Clearly one to miss, for those seeking the sensuous homoeroticism of the Dieux du Stade calendar shoots. But then, they have a different agenda, one far removed from setting out to "uncover the naked truth about how much common ground exists between men who play for different teams." And we’re not talking rugby here. But in doing so, it remains the candid comments from Cordora and his open-minded models, some undoubtedly straight, some questionably so, that are the stars of the show, even if you cannot help but wonder what Alfred Kinsey would have made of the whole experience?
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the full monty.
Overall - file under ... 2+ stars.