Elia Saikaly, Global Adventurer sounds like a great movie title, but not sure whether it should star Chris Pratt or Mike Myers. Of course if there profiling the real Elia Saikaly, it needs to be Pratt, or another Hollywood hunk who'll whip off their shirts frequently while on adventures. Now given Saikaly is often adventuring on Mount Everest, and the average summit temperature is about -19 C, (-2 F) shirtless scenes might be pushing it, but given Saikaly has been known to bath in ice water, it's not that much of a stretch.
I first read about the filmmaker and adventurer last year, I as reminded of his hunkiness a few weeks ago when cable news decided to take a slight break from covering the orange terror to spend a day focusing on the recent uptick in deaths on mount Everest. Saikaly appeared on a few shows discussing the problem and although he was discussing a serous and tragic topic, he still managed to brighten my day.
Most artists and creatives understand that rules are usually just a hindrance. Imaginations don't need roadblocks or boundaries, they just need stimulation and time. Sure, if you're shooting commercially, for a job or a client, there are usually annoying guidelines that have to be followed. When creating independently though, for passion or pleasure or for creative release, abandoning all preconceived notions and rules is the necessary first step.
It's difficult to abandon rules, they're drilled into our brains earliest memories. Our parents and teachers mean well, they're trying to keep us safe, but art and safety don't really go hand in hand. Art is about risk, and I knew the first time I discovered Richard's (The Third Eye) work, rules were not apart of the equation. Richard doesn't choose the models he works with because of their looks, although most are incredibly good looking. Richard doesn't choose his models due to whether they can make him money or not, although many have gone on to be successful commercial models. Richard uses his third eye, the one that most seamlessly rejects rule, to guide him to a quality he wants to spend time with, and get to know through his images.
Many photographers send on images, and share a brief description of the shoot that tells me little about what they were trying to capture. The model will also often shoot on their thoughts on themselves and the shoot and I find it hard to find a nexus between the words and the visual. It's often because the photographer stuck too closely to the rules, not taking the necessary risks to go beyond the surface of the human form in front of them.
Then, there times, when a photographers sends on a series of images, and I feel everything about the process, before being sent, or reading a word about the process. That's pretty much what happened when Richard sent on his work with Marcus. You'll read their comments below, but almost everything they share, is captured within these shots, in Marcus' eyes and poses, from their two shoots together. I'm not that sure Richard has ever commented specifically about a model's body, nor how cooperative or skilled they were in front of the camera. Richard's commentary is usually about who they are, what his first impressions were, and what about them caused him to want to photograph them. With Marcus, it was all about his style.
'I have known Marcus a year or two. I have loved his look from the first time I photographed him. He has a radiant personality and has a unique style that is all his own. He is a definite risk taker and trend setter in fashion and it pays off. It is obvious he has a “charmed life style” full of fun, friends and exciting places. My thought is that you could follow him any given day and produce exciting photos, just in everyday life.'
Marcus remembers being surprised when Richard first direct messaged him about doing a photoshoot. Marcus hadn't modeled before, but had always wanted to model. Although impressed with Richard's work, he noted it was it was Richard's kindness that made the biggest first impression
'Our time together shooting has been fun, creative, and a great experience. Rick is a great photographer but when he is not taking photos, he is the sweetest man. His kindness is what keeps me coming back. He and I are very comfortable around each other which makes it easier to express myself in my photos and just have fun.'
During their shoots, Marcus credits the music for helping to transform him into character and bring on emotions and alter his mood. Sad songs bring on certain emotions that impact both his facial expressions and how he moves. Up tempo songs increase his energy and love songs, they bring on a more erotic feel which comes out through his movements and poses. Marcus shares that he has danced and played sports his entire life and his long lean and flexible look is something that comes naturally.
Although Dance like nobody's watching is an overused phrase, it still remains a powerful one for me. I often ask models what song they played in their bedroom as a kid, that song that had them locking the door and dancing like the were center stage as the star of their own show. The song that caused them to ignore any rules they might have when dancing in front of others, and drop any risk of being judged by others. That feeling, one of pure joy is one so many of us have forgotten.
'Most of these photos where created with love songs playing in the back ground. I have never been in a relationship so I have never been in love. Music is what makes me feel the emotions that others go through with love. In my photos, I was either posing with the pure joy of being in love or the on the opposite end of the love scale, with the emptiness from the lack of love. Whether with joy or sadness, the poses were presented in an androgynous and erotic way. All of the clothes were mine and. I try to express who I am through the clothes that I wear. To be able to take beautifully captured photos with Rick is angling me toward what I truly want to be doing with myself and that is modeling capturing emotions, style, eroticism, and so much more.'
As much as he loves clothes, and how they make him feel, Marcus shares that shooting without any was also expressively freeing. His first nude shoot with Richard was a little over a year ago, but even then, it was nervousness that he felt. Marcus is proud of the body that God blessed him with, and shooting naked has only increased his confidence.
'My philosophy of beauty is that there are no rules. All of our bodies are very different and that is what makes a photo most beautiful. We all can put on the same clothes and take photos. The true beauty for me, is what's underneath, the true beauty of our individual bodies, not covered or bound by clothing or rules.'
'Marcus certainly has the “it” factor and uses it to his advantage. It is fun to watch him move through life in such special ways on Social Media. The other outstanding feature of Marcus is concern and respect for others. It was not surprise to receive a call from him the other night when storms moved through my area, making sure I was ok. Marcus is just this kind of guy.'
The Manchester brothers, Tom and Jack Morgan have been chronicling their fitness progress for awhile now on-line, but I just discovered their Instagram recently. As adorable as they look clean shaven, I think I prefer them with the sexy beards.
Although I've long since soured on Alan Dershowitz, I'd always loved the book and subsequent film adaptation of Reversal of Fortune, (1990) and tuned in during a recent airing on my 90's movie channel. I'd seen the movie on VHS when I was a kid, and was looking forward to again seeing Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close in their roles as Claus and Sunny von Bülow.
The remains compelling, especially given Claus von Bülow died just last month. In addition to the great performances by Irons, Close and Ron Siver as Alan Dershowitz, I took note of Alan's cute son Elon this time around. Elon was played by actor Stephen Mailer.
Mailer, son of renowned author Norman Mailer, was an actor I enjoyed in many roles, and on many VHS movie nights in the eighties and nineties. Although Mailer never became incredibly famous, it wasn't through lack of work, nor of talent. Mailer put in some great performances in many movies I bet you watched over the years.
With Dad and Lauren Graham on The Gilmore Girls (2004)
In addition to Reversal of Fortune, Mailer was many successful films from big screen hits including Cry-Baby, A League of their Own and smaller films like Rabbit Hole, Baby Mama and one of my favorites, Red Meat. Mailer also appeared on television with roles on Law & Order, the daytime soap As The World Turns and a memorable turn with his father on Gilmore Girls in 2010.
With Sandra Oh (Rabbit Hole, 2010)
I think I first discovered Mailer when I was in high school and rewound and re-watched his butt scene in the 1994 comedy Getting In, more times than I can remember. The nude scene in Getting in was one of three of Mailer's nude scenes, all of which occurred in three consecutive movies in the mid to late 90's. Check out all three in the SKIN part of the ACTORS & SKIN post below.
Getting In (1994)
Below: Stephen with Rick Albershardt and Philip Seyour Hoffman vacationing in Ruidoso, New Mexico
Mailer's first nude scene was a butt baring in the 1994 comedy Getting In. I couldn't find a great quality copy as the movie has not had a DVD release. Thankfully, Scenes of Male Skin has an old clip from a VHS copy of the film. You may recognize a shocked Christine Baranski (who was also in Reversal of Fortune) as Mailer's mom in the clip below.
Red Meat (1997)
Some FH readers might remember the scene above from a previous post. I used it back in 2017 when featuring the nude scenes of actor John Slattery. (HERE:) I didn't include the clip below of a scene where Slattery and Mailer's characters switch partners which of course, results in a little regret.
Quiet Days in Hollywood (1997)
It took me awhile to find a copy of the multi-character study focused film, Quiet Days in Hollywood from 1997. I believe this is Mailer's only frontal in an interesting scene at the gym... I ordered the DVD from Amazon, and haven't watched it all yet, but had to go in and check out Stephen's scene for the post.