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He slept with Sal Mineo, was photographed by Andy Warhol, and he was lusted after by millions of men around the world. Model, photographer, filmmaker, clothing designer, and porn icon Peter Berlin is his own greatest creation. Berlin is front and center in this bio documentary from director Jim Tushinski, and featuring interviews with director John Waters, novelist Armistead Maupin, 70s porn Director Wakefield Poole and more, all with Berlin as the subject. This intimate film reveals the legendary man with the white saran wrapped pants, undersized leather vests, and Dutch-boy haircut.Written by
Captain Groovy and His Bubble Gum Army
Published by Super Bubble Music Corp.
A Product of Kasenetz-Katz
Used by permission See more »
Homophobia has always been the first obstacle for many persons to enter the world of "gay icon" Peter Berlin, and now it has the same effect on common viewers to watch -not to mention appreciate- the documentary "That Man: Peter Berlin". Second, the perception of what Polish-born baron Armin von Hoyningen-Huene did to himself in the 1970s (that is, creating a character called Peter Berlin, becoming a fixed figure in the streets of San Francisco and taking himself many erotic photographs, among other things) as the sole effect of narcissism or exhibitionism, can also dissuade many to watch this motion picture. Surprisingly, Berlin emerges as all that and as someone more interesting, a richer personality and a complex character. I belong to a generation after his, but I had the opportunity to live the moment when Peter Berlin became a sensation among homosexuals (mostly in the Occident and in the North hemisphere), a historic moment when the fight for the civil rights of all of us who had sexual orientations different from the "official behavior" became more radical, and helped us to define what fronts of our existences needed strategies of defense. In that context Berlin made himself an object of conceptual art, if you will, a performing artist of the notion of sexual desire as an act of observation rather than interaction in "events" (although he had his share of those activities through his pornographic films, and his encounters through his intense social life). Today he declares that he became a sort of abstemious sensual machine that rarely had sex with anyone, and preferred to have permanent relationships. For someone who was not only extremely handsome when free from the demands of his Berlin character, but also successful, travelled and sought after by Richards, Warhol, Mapplethorpe and other avant-garde artists, it is quite moving to hear him talk about the painful aspects of his life, about his difficult journey, from the loss of his father in II World War to the struggles in post-war Europe, the abuse of substances of all kinds, and the disappearance of many friends, including two partners. Although this may seem a bit frivolous on my part, I need to comment that I found strange and rare that most of the times director Jim Tushinski deliberately abstained from exposing Peter Berlin's bare penis, which was copiously displayed in his photographs and --apart from his brain—was the actor's most prominent "source of inspiration" in his work. Otherwise, "That Man: Peter Berlin" is a fine work, a testament of one exhilarating time in the evolution of sexual mores and of one of its more prominent figures.
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