FH readers know that the original Blue Lagoon had quite an impact on me when I was a kid. I think like many young guys in the 80's, Christopher Atkins confirmed beyond a doubt, my sexual preference. I was a bit young to see the movie when it first came out, but I remember seeing images of Atkins in magazines and longed to see the film, and to see the nude scenes that I'd read about. Eventually I got to see the movie on VHS and the pause button on the remote never had such a work out.
This post isn't really about Atkins though, I featured the blonde heartthrob many times over the years. (HERE:) It's also not about actor Brenton Thwaites, the Australian actor who played Dean in the 2012 TV remake film Blue Lagoon: The Awakening.
This post is more about Richard, (or Dean or Michael) and the 4 actors, some who wore the loincloth, in the four incarnations of the film. The original castaway was played by Donald Houston who co-stared alongside Jean Simmons in the original Blue Lagoon in 1949.
Brenton Thwaites in The Blue Lagoon: A New Awakening 2012
I was triggered by an article on actor Brian Krause who played Richard in the 1991 sequel, Return to the Blue Lagoon. I have yet to see Return to the Blue Lagoon, partly, because I'm not really that familiar with Krause's work. I certainly was aware of him, mainly due to his role on Charmed, but I never watched that show. Truth be told, I was also aware that except for a few breast flashes from Milla Jovovich, there wasn't any male nudity in the film.
Donald Houston & Jean Simmons in The Blue Lagoon (1949)
When I first saw the 1980 version, in addition to Atkins, I also enjoyed the island scenery and the blues and greens of the ocean. As beautiful as the location was, with repeat viewings, it was all about capturing a new angle or view of Aktins body during all those underwater swimming scenes... Krause is incredibly adorable in the promotional shots for the sequel, so I did get my hands on a digital copy that I plan on watching when time allows.
Brian Krause in Return to the Blue Lagoon(1991)
I thought it might be fun to compare and contrast the four 'Richards' and see which one had the best beach body from all of that fish, not to mention the coconuts and berries (except the poison ones...) they were forced to eat on the island.
Although Christopher Atkins was the only 'Richard' to have nude scenes in his dip in the Lagoon, all except actor Donald Houston, did have nude scenes in other projects. Check them out and see which of Richard's rears was your favorite on PAGE 2 HERE: & HERE:
'Since the dawn of my Bare Men series, I've been working to end the taboo of the male nude -- full-frontal, all bodies, erections -- and the men who inhabit those bodies. What draws me to nudes is how much of a person's spirit we're shown.'
Earlier this year, I posted a call to photographers for Bare Men, the upcoming show put together, and based on the theme of artist Abigail Ekue. Well, the time is here and starting this week, Bare Men , the group show opens at The Living Gallery in Bushwick Brooklyn. The exhibit will be on view from September 29 through October 4 starting with a press preview on Sunday, September 29. The opening reception will be held on October 1 from 7 to 10 PM. On Thursday, October 3, 2019, an Artist Talk will be held at 6 to 8 PM.
'For Bare Men: The Group Show, I invited and selected photographers whose imagery was intimate, delicate, raw, erotic, evocative. The work I was drawn to took my breath away. Photographers who are daring, pushing boundaries or those that are elevating the classic nude tropes. I chose photography as the sole medium for this show because it is the most censored when it comes to the male nude.'
'When I'm working with men for my Bare Men series or with private clients, I love the process of seeing them strip the armor of "being a man" in society. They are free to express their personal masculinity. The artists in Bare Men: The Group Show exhibit many expressions of masculinity through their photography and self portraiture. This exhibit forces the viewer to face the face of the male nude. The viewer is asked to confront any hang-ups they may have towards the male nude or even nudity, in general, and appreciate that there is art in the male nude. Art that we all have a hand in creating.'
Exhibiting Artists: Adam Burke, Aeric Meredith-Goujon, Andy Kabi, Anira Ivo, Ann-Marie Stillion, Arnold Barretto, Berta A. Daniels, Bill Mattern, DearIndifference, Ekin Balcıoğlu, Evan Murphy, Exposing40, H. Tim Secnal, Jen Folsom, Jeremy Marc Anthony, Joseph O’Neill, Linda Richard, Logan Benedict, Naked World, Nick Kershaw, Oliver Estrella, Only Sky Studios, Patrick, Peter J. Robinson Jr., Raj Kamal, Ryan Alvin, Shelagh Howard, Steve Stenzel, Tim Foley, Wolf Schwarz, Wylde Soul Photography, Zaza Greene
Bare Men: The Group Showmarks the return to The Living Gallery for Abigail Ekue Photography. In the spring of 2016, Ekue held her solo Bare Men Pop-Up Exhibit in the space.
'We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly, we can fly'
The 5th Dimension
Over the decade plus of working on FH, there have been various visual themes I've connected with. FH readers are aware of my love of the use of windows, mirrors, staircases and doors within images of the male form. Each of these elements are ones which I identify with and each represents something I've experienced, loved, fought or struggled with within my own life.
Roofs are another matter. I have featured many models from Richard Rothstein shot on the roof of New York his building. Generally, I focus on the views, both on, and surrounding the model and roof. There is no better backdrop for an image of the male form than the Manhattan skyline, especially when that form is the beautiful Able Rey. Somehow however, I think maybe I've bypassed the powerful symbolism of the location. The strength and pride of a strong, yet vulnerable naked man, standing tall, looking down upon, as if ruling over one of the greatest cities in the world.
I think my overlooking the main theme of roof comes from a lack of exposure. Growing up, we always lived in split levels, without much height. We did live in a home with a flat roof for a few years, but I was never allowed on it. My father would up in the winter and shovel off snow, but before I got even a few feet up the latter, my mother was yelling at me to get off from the kitchen window.
When I needed empowerment, I usually escaped to the woods. If I couldn't rule over a metropolis, a forest would have to do. In the woods, I was in charge, and my view was usually looking down over a lake, or an endless stretch of evergreens. The more time I spend on Richard' roof however, the more I long for such a space to recharge and release. It's not as cool now that I'm adult to go running and skipping through the woods, not that I don't still do it from time to time....
'The roof is my world away from the world. It’s an escape, a secret garden where I can realize my fantasies against the backdrop of the city that lives in my DNA. For me the nudes I do on this roof are about pride, freedom and a declaration of victory over the closet and homophobia.'
It was interesting to me that it was Abel's red balloons that helped bring clarity to the roof theme. I love colorful balloons, and their ability to fly up, up and away, gliding peacefully through the sky, slowly out of view. Balloons have been apart of many pieces on the site, including one of my earliest pieces featuring Richards work, (Blown) from back in 2012,
'Fifteen years before our story begins, two children were shipwrecked on an uncharted island. The little boy and girl grew up alone in this lost paradise. As man and woman, they discovered a pure and natural love. In time, a child was born. But in a tragic accident, they were driven out to sea away from their island. Drifting for days, they believed that their lives and the life of their baby were at an end. Then a passing vessel drew near...'
Although he didn't pull an Atkins, going full frontal during his time at the Lagoon, Krause does look hot in just his leather loincloth. I believe Krause's only nude scene was a brief butt shot in 1993's The Liar's Club. I don't generally include scenes that feature rapes or sexual assaults, but this was the actors only on-screen nudity, so I edited just a brief clip with the side view of his butt.
The Liar's Club (1993)
The Blue Lagoon: The Awakening (2012)
In addition to being incredibly hot, actor Brenton Thwaites is also incredibly talented, and is a bit of chameleon, moving in and out of his projects with different looks. Although I look forward to more down the road, I think Thwaites only nude scene was a brief butt flash in 2014's Son Of A Gun.
The last line spoken from stripper Rick Monroe, (Christopher Atkins) sort of sums 1983's A Night in Heaven, and in many ways... Christopher's short lived film career. I remember in the late 80's when I was old enough enough to go to the video store and rent on my own. I had seen images of Atkins promoting the film in magazines and was eager to the film for myself.
I remember renting it the flick several times, always placing it on the store's counter under a copy of Star Wars, Ghostbusters, or The Terminator. I sneak in and watch and re-watch Atkins' nude scenes again and again. For some reason, maybe due to those white pants, the stripping scenes were not really that hot. Although Atkins showed the full Monty in his love scene, the stripping scenes were rather tame.
The nudity in The Blue Lagoon was pretty daring, especially for the early 80's, and given his first role was frolicking naked on a deserted island, Atkins career was destined to be focused on the baring of skin. It seemed he attempted to move away into other roles briefly, but in the end, seemed to accept his claim to fame, and posed naked again in his late 30's for Greg Gorman's book As I See It.
That Boat Scene....
The boat scene remains one of the most exploitative, not too mention, peculiar scenes of male scenes ever in a mainstream movie. There is of course an erotic element given Atkins is naked, and the cmnm dynamic with the jilted husband. The scene is just so... well, too much, especially given he's being held naked at gun point.
Atkins acting is especially painful to watch in the scene. I don't necessarily blame Akins, although no Marlon Brando, he was capable of pulling off a scene if written with limited abilities in mind. I blame the director and editor. I know they were going for the erotic vulnerablity, but they could have done a few more takes as some of the lines were cringe worthy, and could have been better if there were any interest in making the scene anything more than a reason to show Atkins naked again.