By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com September 30 2011 8:40 AM ET
10. BOOK: Wet Men
Best known for his Dieux du Stade calendars and videos, photographer François Rousseau has just released a gorgeous new coffee-table book that celebrates the liberally moistened, sun-kissed masculine beauty of more than 50 sexy non-professional models — both in and out of their bathing suits — shot in the shimmering waters of Tahiti, in the public pools of Paris, and on the beaches of the South of France. Towels not included.
9. FILM: What’s Your Number?
The luminous Anna Faris stars in Mark Mylod’s charming rom-com — based on Karyn Bosnak’s book 20 Times a Lady — about Ally, a Bostonian who, with the help of a skin-baring neighbor played by Chris Evans, tracks down 20 ex-boyfriends played by the likes of Joel McHale and Zachary Quinto. Brother to Brother’s Anthony Mackie (pictured) appears as Tom, a college ex who says that Ally opened his eyes to the fact that he’s gay.
8. DVD: L’Amour Fou
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé met at Christian Dior’s funeral in 1957, and the rest is history that director Pierre Thoretton lovingly details in this intimate French-language documentary, which is now on DVD. Using home movies and archival footage of runway shows, the film focuses on the French-Algerian couturier’s 50-year relationship with Bergé, who prepares to auction off their enviable art collection after YSL’s 2008 death.
7. MUSIC: Breakers, Gem Club
Spike a hot cup of tea and cozy up to the exquisitely melancholy debut from Gem Club, a Massachusetts-based orchestral pop trio comprised of gay singer-pianist Christopher Barnes, cellist Kristen Drymala, and vocalist Ieva Berberian. Richly saturated with languid reflections on love, loss, and heartrending beauty, this contemplative fantasia includes glacial singles “Twins” and “Breakers.” For more info visit iamgemclub.com.
6. DVD: The Cost of Love, Finding Me: Truth, Without Men, Open
There’s something for everyone in these sexy new DVD releases: Carl Medland’s The Cost of Love humanizes a gay hustler in London; Roger S. Omeus’s Finding Me sequel revisits the relationship dramas of gay African Americans; Gabriela Tagliavini’s Without Men lets Eva Longoria get intimate with Kate Del Castillo; and Jake Yuzna’s Open assembles a cast of trans, intersex, and pandrogynous people for an offbeat love story.
5. THEATER: Busted: The Musical
Bianca Leigh is guilty of spotlight theft in her new show — workshopped last year as A Night at the Tombs — which runs through October 10 at New York’s Laurie Beechman Theatre. Presented by Theatre Askew, the trans performer’s engaging solo act, which features songs by Avenue Q’s Jeff Whitty and others, muses on gender identity as it details her brief 1987 incarceration for solicitation. For tickets visit SpinCycleNYC.com.
4. TV: Mad Fashion
Feathers, sequins, and appliqués — oh, yes! Project Runway favorite Chris March has earned his very own reality show, which premieres October 4 on Bravo. The over-the-top garments created by the gay designer and his eccentric crew include a Mardi Gras float costume for Jennifer Coolidge, an edgy outfit for Manhattan nightclub maven Susanne Bartsch, and a special frock for Dina Manzo. For more info visit chrismarchdesign.com.
3. DVD: Queer as Folk: The Complete U.K. Collection
Before a tamer American version spiced up Showtime, the groundbreaking 1999 series Queer as Folk scandalized Brits with the sexual exploits and family dramas of gays and lesbians in Manchester. Extras on this three-disc box set, which is now available in the U.S., includes deleted scenes, cast interviews, audio commentary, and a 20-page booklet with notes by out creator and writer Russell T. Davies, who went on to create Torchwood.
2. TV: American Horror Story
It’s creepy and it’s kooky, but there’s nothing ooky about this intoxicating horror series from Glee creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Premiering October 5 on FX, the stylish drama stars Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott as new owners of a haunted mansion. True Blood’s Denis O’Hare (pictured) costars as a burn-scarred former resident, and Zachary Quinto and Teddy Sears appear as the home’s ill-fated previous gay owners.
1. BOOK: Gay in America
Scott Pasfield celebrates diversity and squashes stereotypes with his stirring collection of intimate portraits of 140 gay men in all 50 states. They aren’t all cute, and in some cases their stories aren’t all that remarkable, but every last subject is a beautiful gay American. Inspiring in its honesty and simplicity, the book includes an intro by playwright Terrence McNally and his activist husband Tom Kirdahy. For more info visit gayinamerica.us.