I loved Jennifer Aniston on Friends, but for some reason was never really drawn to seeing her in other projects. Might be that I liked her character Rachel Green more than the actress herself, but other than Marley and Me, (on a date) and The Good Girl, (for Jake Gyllenhaal) I had not seen any of her movies. This past weekend, I caught 1998's The Object of My Affection on TV. Had I seen it listed, I probably would have skipped it, but came upon it while mindlessly flipping through channels late Friday night.
I came into the movie about 10 minutes in and stopped because of seeing Allison Janney on screen. Within a minute or two I was introduced to Jennifer and Paul Rudd's characters and quickly realized the story involved the relationship between a gay man and his straight female room mate. Not sure why I hadn't heard of this story before, I guess I just thought it was another of Aniston's rom com's with her and Rudd as romantic leads. The movie has a great cast and in addition to Aniston, Rudd and Janney, the film also features Tim Daly, John Pankow, Steve Zahn and Alan Alda.
The movie immediately hit a chord with me, and like many gay men in their 20's, I was involved in a relationship very much like the one explored in the film. I two lived with a woman for about a year and half in my late 20's and the relationship became complicated we discussed having a child together, despite not being romantically involved. There ended up being a baby, not mine, but with the man she eventually married. I am the baby's Godfather, but unlike George and Nina in the movie, my relationship with my best friend, didn't survive the complicated twists and turns of our time together.
I am always thrown when the Twin Towers show up in a scene in a pre 2001 New York based film. That wasn't the main reason however, that I struggled to shake a sense of sadness and regret after watching the movie. I enjoyed the film, even with it's few outdated gay references. The relationship between the George and Nina characters was just so real to men, and although it's been over 10 years since I lived with my Nina, it's still a bit a raw. No matter what the circumstance, when you plan your life with someone, it's always difficult when one person moves on and gets that planned life with another.
There was a second relationship in the film that also brought back a few painful memories. The relationship between the older Rodney (Nigel Hawthorne) and his young protege Paul (Amo Gulinello) was also familiar to me. Most of us have been involved with someone we fall in love with, only to have them not return the same feelings. If it's a friend, or someone you're connected with, it can be painful to watch them move on with another.
Rudd & Gulinello
I really liked actor Amo Gulinello who played Paul, Rudd's boyfriend in the last part of the film. Gulinello's IMDB page indicates this was his first film role and after a few other parts, stopped acting on screen in 2003 after an appearance in Sex and the City. A quick google search however, tells us Gulinello has continued to perform in theatre and performed with Cirque Due Soleil between 2004 and 2012.
My FaVorite FiVe series might as well be called sexy six or sensual seven given that rarely am I able to narrow down my favorite images of a particular model to just five. With model Sebastian Sauvé, I got it down to about 14 before forcing myself to cut the number in half.
Sebastian was discovered while traveling the year before starting University. When in LA, he was spotted by someone staying at the same hostel he and his girlfriend were staying at. After his casting, he was quickly offered a contract but had to turn it down due to having to leave for school in England in just a few days. However, through their recommendation, Sebastian was sent to Premier in London and he shares that's where it all began.
I love Sebastian's look, sort of preppy bad boy with his distinctive face and great lips. I had saved an image of the Michigan born model awhile ago, but it wasn't credited and didn't initially come up on my google image search. I recently saw the image again on Pinterest, this time, with proper credit. Sebastian says he never thought he could ever be a model, but now that he's achieved success he plans to enjoy the ride.
It's always fascinating for me when I learn new things about modeling and photographing the male form. I tend to assume most photographers shoot, and most models pose, in order to share their work with a broader audience. Years ago, I was interested to learn that there are collectors, who privately hire photographers to shoot certain models, with the results for the most part, for the collectors eyes only. I had not known however, about models who pose for private sessions with photographers.
Tina Turner fans are aware of Private Dancers, and the concept is really quite similar. The photographer's goal isn't so much to take images for pubic enjoyment, but to take images, and partake in the shoot, for their own enjoyment. Their identities are kept secret, and it is up to the model whether they wish to share the results of their artistic collaboration.
30 year London model Ben has been interested in modeling and the male form in photography since he was a kid. He remembers seeing Cologne advertisements in magazines and being struck by the incredibly powerful photos of the men and women depicted. Ben describes himself as uninhibited, and not afflicted with an overactive sense of modesty. Ben enjoys exploring eroticism, and believes shoots should be fun and enjoyable for both artist and model. That doesn't mean unprofessional, Ben takes his work seriously, showing up prepared, rested and ready to use his experience to create great create provocative, sexy and creative images.
'I think the theme has to be there but definitely the feeling on the day motivates me. Like most things, the best photos are often not planned. I had the partner of a private photographer unexpectedly walk in on a quite awkward nude pose, she looked a bit surprised but ended up staying and joining me for few photos. That was definitely the most sexiest shoot i have been in.'
Ben has always been comfortable being naked, and says even when in front of the camera, he's naked most of the time. Given the private setting, Ben has had his fair share of strange offers and requests, but is never put off. Ben views it as a compliment and says most of the men and women who have hired him for shoots have been amazing. When I first saw Ben's images, I was not aware they were taken by a private photographer. I was struck by his piercing dark eyes, his sensual look and sexual confidence, and the beautiful lines and curves he created with his body. Although his portfolio is mostly made up of images from private shots, Ben joined Model Mayhem hoping to connect a wider variety of artistic talent.
Photographer Ben Would love to be shot by?Olivier Valsecchi hands down!
Part of your body are you most happy with?I love my Legs and bum. I often get complimented on how powerful they look.
What part gets the most attention from others?When on private shoots, I get a lot of attention on my penis... its probably because its a grower!
Why do you think you like modeling?The freedom to express and provoke feelings & emotions from just a photo
What would your dream scenario be for a shoot?I would love to work with other models in Bondage shoots.