Saturday, January 7, 2023

Favorite Pic of the Day for January 8th


~Check out today's BIRTHDAYS HERE:~

Thespian Torsos

A Coach Cleanse

Showering the winning coach has become a tradition in sports dating back decades.  They can be showered with praise, or with something wet, usually a colorful liquid like Gatorade.  

My favorite coach showers however, are the traditional ones.  A coach cleansing by simply dragging him into the locker's shower room, stripping him down and getting him soaking wet.  of course this shower is a lot more fun when you have a hot coach like the one captured and showered here by JayBee from Frisky Frolic.

No Ordinary Love Story...

'Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.'

Let me start out by saying as someone who works in field of psychology, I hate those who judge the level of trauma in another.  We all experience things differently, and sometimes brief moments can have a great impact on person, even years or decades late.  That being said, I struggle with the recent news about the lawsuit filed by Romeo and Juliet actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. 

My struggle isn't with their allegations.  I've read enough stories about director Franco Zeffirelli to know their claims are likely true.  The problem is, the claims themselves. Even in their suit, there is no allegation anyone forced them to take their clothes off, only that the director pleaded with them to do so for the good of the film.  I'm sure his pleading put a lot of pressure on both actors, but their behavior, actions and words do not align with their claims in the suit.  As recently as 2018, Hussey in particular spoke of the nudity not being a big deal. 

'It wasn’t that big of a deal, and Leonard wasn’t shy at all! In the middle of shooting, I just completely forgot I didn’t have clothes on.'
Olivia Hussey, 2018

Now it's possible that Hussey's had a change of heart in the last four years, but I still struggle with the allegation being that of child abuse.  Having worked with many children who've been actually abused, it's hard to find a comparison between what they've been through and what happened to Hussey and Whiting.   Once again, even if their allegations are true, in the end, they made the choice to appear nude on set.  

I know they were young, and nudity in films wasn't as closely regulated as it is today, there still would have been parents or guardians who would have to sign off on anything the actors were required to do.  It would seem whoever in the actors camp signed the consent and contracts would be the one to sue, not the director, even if he lied, or pressured them.  

The issue does not even seem to be that they filmed the scene nude, but instead that it ended up on the screen.  Surely between the filming, the dailies and the previews, the nudity was not a surprise.  Even Zeffirelli was not capable of 'sneaking' in a nude scene directly to theatres that the actors or studio didn't see and approve.

A recent change in California child abuse laws seems more likely the stimulus, and if so, cool.  They're suing for hundreds of millions, which might be a ploy to get a much smaller amount, quietly from the studio, to make this go away.  If so, good for them, but at the same time, bad for all those whose entire lives have been damaged by actual abuse and who don't have the celebrity status or money to file a suit to put public pressure on their abuser.

I wasn't initially going to add caps from the film, but in the end, decided it was important.  The movie was Romeo and Juliet, and the young lovers love story was at the heart of the film.  I think I first saw the movie, and the nudity, when I was a minor, in 8th grade English class.   Although I know most movie nudity is gratuitous, this scene, including the nudity, really did play an important role in the impact of the story and the film. 

Love's First Awakening

'The boy grows tall. The girl beautiful. When their love happens, it is natural as the sea, and as powerful.'

When I was looking for information on the Romeo and Juliet lawsuit, I ended up on one my favorite sites, author and creator Matthew Rettenmund's Boy Culture.  After posting about Hussey and Whiting, Rettenmund posted a contrasting story linking to Brooke Shields podcast, 'Now What'.  I didn't even know Shields had a podcast, but headed over to listen to her and co-star Christopher Atkins discuss their experience shooting The Blue Lagoon.

Longtime FH viewers know I love me some Christopher Atkins, and have written before about my experience watching The Blue Lagoon.  (HERE:) I was too young to see the film when it first hit the theatres, my introduction to Atkins came a few years later, in the from an image. on the cover of an old copy of People Magazine.

I remember first seeing the issue in a pile of old magazines in my neighbours basement that I was getting paid to help clean. I was hypnotized by the image, and kept looking for moments to take a peak. I so wanted to steal it, but was nervous, and an opportunity never arose. 

I remember making up an excuse to go down into the basement a few weeks later, plan set to find the issue, but that pile of magazines was gone, most likely thrown out in the clean up. Months later however, I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy at the bottom of a pile of magazine in my dentist's waiting room.

Of course went on to rent the film on VHS and paused and rewound Atkin's nude scene over and over and over again. In Shield's podcast, she and Atkins seem to have fond memories of their time filming, despite the nudity and odd circumstances during the filming.  Shields was just 14 at the time, and the oddest story was that her mother was trying to couple her up with the 18 year old Atkins.

She seemed to feel if they got together romantically, it would help with their on-screen chemistry and Atkins also recounts her mother wanted to shift her daughters passion from horse to boys.  Even though they moved Atkins into the hut Shields shared with her mother, it doesn't appear anything but a friendship developed. 

One of the most interesting lines to me in the  interview was Atkins recalling being told my a man that his role in the film was confirmation that he was gay.   I've read this many times on-line, and it seems quite a common thing from many guys who watched the film when they were young.  I'm not sure Atkins actually confirmed my sexuality, that came years later, but I think he was the first embodiment, nude embodiment, of my then hidden desires and preferences. 

You just have check out the scene and caps in this post.  They are the first two plus minutes that Atkins appears in the film.  Prior to this scene, the characters of Richard (Atkins) and Emmeline, (Shields) were played by younger actors.  Shields underwater scenes, and any on-screen nudity were done by a body double.  But Atkins, as well as the younger actors playing Richard and Emmeline did all appear nude in the film.

Atkins first two minutes was an almost unimaginable fantasy sequence for a young, gay or confused kid.  Tall, lean, blond and beautiful, completely naked swimming in a tropical paradise.  The music, the underwater ballet, the lingering scenes of his skin and body, including frontals of an 18 year old Adonis.  The fantasy wabbled slightly when the actor was talking, and out of the water, but below the surface he was a big screen stimulus for so so many.  I'm glad that Atkins and Shields shared mostly happy memories from their time making the film.  It would be a difficult to enjoy the movie, and the nudity, if their memories were not as fun and positive.