I thought, with all my holiday and wintry themed posts, it might be time for a little escape. Something for those snowbirds out there who head to the heat when the thermometer drops. If you can't physically escape the snow and cold, one of the hottest spots to check out on FH is my annual scrapbook of images from Lake Powell.
Every year at Christmas, there would be one gift my mother had hidden away, that she couldn't find to put under tree. We always considered this our 'bonus gift'. It would usually show up a week or two later, and it was fun to get a surprise gift as the holidays winding down.
Today's bonus gift is Phil Dlab's images of Peter. Peter made his debut on Bodytorium over Christmas, but FH took a short break after Christmas, so Peter's unwrapping had to wait until today. Check out a bit more of Phil's work with Peter on PAGE 2 HERE: and check out MUCH more on Bodyorium HERE:
'White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light.'
One of the reason's a year's beginning can be so overwhelming, is because of how white it is. For many, the white is visually real, it's the snow and ice that surrounds them. The white is there for everyone however, and it's vast and persistent. No matter how much we try to resist, there is an almost something organic whispering in our ears, pressuring us to make a change, do something different, and to make the most out of the twelve months that lie ahead of us.
It's not about resolutions really, resolutions are more a coping strategy we developed, a way to convince ourselves we've responded to the earth's changes, and the turn to a new year. Some believe, the persistent January whisper stems in part from the sun. We are closer to the sun in January, yet at the same time, so many struggle to feel it's warmth and light. This has many searching, looking for ways to fill in the colorless white, to create something on that blanc slate, that's comforting and colorful, and filled with optimism and hope.
It's a daunting task for sure, but if you can get your head around it, it's also incredibly exciting. A blank slate is not defined by by time or the calendar, no matter when you pull it out and face it, it's completely empty, ready to be filled in. It's also not defined by color, as white is the sum of all possible colors. It's open and ready for whatever you want to create and add to it.
'I try and reduce myself to an almost blank slate and hope to God that I am creative.'
Most artists will tell you that they are most inspired, when the canvas is blank, and when the creative ideas are still swirling around in their heads. I know with writing, including putting together pieces for FH, they are at there most spectacular, before my fingers hit the keyboard. When I have a set of images that inspire, my mind begins visualizing the story, and how to creatively, pull all the pieces together. The stumbling blocks usually occur during the process of doing. The beginning, the thinking about doing... now that's the creative sweet spot!
This story wasn't written today, in early January, for this piece. It was typed today, but it was creatively put together last month, when New Manhattan Studios Wes first sent on his work with Trevor (TJ). Many FH readers may remember TJ from his appearances on FH from last April. (HERE:) When I saw his work with NMS, I hoped to share some of the results. Wes though that his series Trevor blanc, would be a fresh and inspiring way to begin the new year.
'Trevor’s shoot was months in the planning and coordinated with Keith Ingram, a professional friend on the West Coast who shared the expenses of bringing Trevor from Ohio to New York City. The photographers shared two days of shooting around some of the iconic venues of lower Manhattan. The weather in late summer was ideal and New York made a good enough impression on the model that he returned less than two weeks later. Business brought Trevor to the city the second time but he was able to arrange his schedule to permit a full photo session in the studio. The work featured here and in Trevor blanc came from that second session. I wasn't shooting alone, many of the images featured here were captured by NMS's Taylor Edwards and Alex Bustamante'
Last New Year, I featured Holiday Under Wraps, the New Year's themed photo story from 1973, the first year of Playgirl Magazine. (HERE:) I decided to go on the hunt to see how many others I could find. Many remember the iconic images of Jean-Michel Villette, but I found a few more New Year's themed shoots to add to the collection.
Through much of the magazine's run, the January issue meant announcing the man of the year. Often, the pictorial to celebrate the magazine's choice was themed around New Year's, and the man of the year as the perfect date to get the new year started with .
When my mom was alive, she used to love turning the TV to the fireplace channel. I thought it was so odd, as we had a fireplace... I never got the appeal of channels that showed video of fires burning or fish swimming around. That being said, if they had a channel with Christopher Atkins swimming underwater, I could watch for hours. When I saw this gif that Casperfan posted, I enlarged it and watched for... awhile...
I didn't know when I started this piece, that Peter was the perfect model to feature as a late Christmas gift. We all know 19 year old high school students are't exactly always reliable, especially around Christmas. They're on a school break, they have family obligations and friends to see and parties to go to. Lateness however, almost mean this particular gift almost didn't get unwrapped.
Phil describes Peter as a true free spirit, on of the most most laid back and easy going guy he's worked with. Phil says that Peter is an 'up-for-anything' kind of guy, This explains of course, why the 19 year old was up for baring it all for a photoshoot. Unfortunately, free spirits tend to go with the flow more than following a clock or calendar. On the day of the shoot, Phil waited around for two hours before Peter showed up. Although initially pissed, Peter's friendly personality an collaborative personality made up for it, and the shoot ended up being a great success.
If you head to Bodytorium and check out three Peter's three folders, you'll see that Peter was indeed up-for-anything during the shooting process as well. He rolls and crawls around, leaps into the air and creates dozens and dozens of fun and uniquely erotic poses. Peter's limber physique comes from playing all kinds of sports. He isn't into lifting weights like many of his friends. Peter prefers playing soccer, swimming and flying around town on his skateboard.
Peter's main passion however is electronic music, and has traveled to almost every music festival in Europe. You can see some of the souvenirs from the festivals on Peter's arm. One of Peter's main concerns about the shoot wasn't about being naked, but about having to cut off his wrist bands. Peter was relieved and smiled when Phil told him he was more than fine with the wrist bands remaining. Phil says that despite the rocky start to the shoot, both he and Peter were happy with how things went, in fact Peter is one of the few models who took the time to send Phil back his thoughts.
'Peter wrote that he really liked his photos because they were more authentic than his other usual poses and that the pictures revealed his true self --- naked, imperfect, not acting or pretending to be someone else. It's really me.'
'I understand you're only trying to do your job. But one thing the trip to Northern Ireland has made very clear to me is that the romance between Margaret and myself has caught the public eye. There is a momentum for us, a sense of joy and celebration which you would be wise to acknowledge.'
Peter Townsend, The Crown
Despite hearing great things from friends and family, I found it hard to get into The Crown. I watched the first 15 or 20 minutes of the first episode a few times, but wasn't motivated to continue. Just before Christmas, I had another friend mention he'd been up late binge watching, and recommended that I give it another try. I did.
This time, I pushed through the first 20 minutes to the end. I wasn't totally sold by the end, but by about episode 4, I was hooked. Although I have always loved Matt Smith, (see my previous post HERE:) it was incredible performance by Claire Foy, and the relationships between Elizabeth and Margaret, and of Margaret with Peter Townsend that really drew me in.
The scenes with Margaret and Peter Townsend had me googling about their real life affair, and looking for more info on actor Ben Miles who plays Peter. Miles has such a strong, sexy face, and played the sad beats of the romances story beautifully. All of the actors are great and I quickly zipped through the remainder of season 1, finishing up the last episode of the season on Sunday night. Season 2 awaits!
Googling the real Peter Townsend had me seeing similarities in the facial features of the man, and the actor bringing him to life. Over the course of his thirty year career, actor Ben Miles has brought many characters to life on stage, on television and screen.
Some of Miles' most notable role included appearances on screen in V for Vendetta, Speed Racer and Woman in Gold and on television in shows including; Coupling, Prime Suspect, Collateral, Dracula, Black Mirror and The Trial of Christine Keeler. Miles has also appeared on stages in both London and New York.
Interestingly, Ben has co-starred with his The Crown co-star Claire Foy in a number of projects, both on stage and on screen. On television, Miles and Foy worked together in the mini series The Promise and the TV film Pulse.
In 2011, Miles starred as Robert in Harold Pinter's Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre in London's West End. Kristin Scott Thomas played his wife, Emma and Douglas Henshall as his best friend and her lover, Jerry. I remember playing Robert in Theatre class in University and the hours the director spent trying to get us to perfect our 'Pinter Pauses'.
Love, Love, Love (2012)
Sooo... nude scenes? Although I read he had some, unfortunately, Mr. Miles onscreen nudity was difficult to find. If you Google Ben Miles nude, and I did, there are some rear clips credited to Ben from the British television series, The Worst Week Of My Life. (2004-2006)I don't think Ben Miles actually appeared on the show, but the show's lead was Ben Miller. I think the similar names means the butt in question belongs to a Miller, not a Miles.
The Hollow Crown (2016)
I read in the Celebrity Nudity data base that Ben was completely naked, both rear and frontal in the 2004 BBC Drama, A Thing Called Love. The scene description indicates that after being caught having gay sex in a bathroom, Ben's character strips completely naked with a plan to drown himself in a swimming pool. He changes his mind however, and dresses and walks away from the pool. A Thing Called Love (2004)
I searched EVERYWHERE that I could think of to find a copy of the show, or the scene, without luck. Amazon.UK appears to have had the DVD's at one point, but they are no longer available. The first place I searched was of course Scenes of Male Skin. I was excited as there is a clip from the show, (below) featuring Ben having, well, it looks like reluctant sex, but the swimming pool scene wasn't included. I wrote the site owner who shared that scene was all he had. If anyone knows where the show can be purchased, or as a clip, give me a shout!