Friday, March 2, 2007

Lost Films, Part One

Hello. I'm a new contributor to this blog, and I hope you'll enjoy my blathering.

I have no intention of disrupting the musical focus of this fine blog, but I do have word staight from Monsieur Catalogues himself that I'm free to post on whatever I like. And "whatever I like" comes down to music and movies, mostly. I do like books a whole hell of a lot, but it's difficult to make any intelligent or fascinating remarks about them in the blog format. Or am I being elitist here?

At any rate, for my first post on the French Catalogues I thought I'd talk to you about films. Lost films, in particular. It seems odd (to my mind, really quite eerie) that an entire motion picture can be made, released, seen by a few people, and then utterly vanish. But apparently quite a few reels of films have done exactly that. I just came across Film Threat's list of the Top Ten Lost Films of all time; there's plenty of curiosities here (made all the more curious by their disappearance), but one that especially caught my eye was a 1970s romp called Him:

The title character of this gay porn flick is none other than the Man from Galilee, whose interest in hanging out with the all-male disciples is supposedly more than mere fraternalism. Parallel to this is a contemporary story of a young gay male who finds new spiritualism by plumbing the gayer aspects of the Gospels for his own notion of loving thy neighbor (particularly if he’s a good looking hunky neighbor).
Fun! I have to admit I'm a little disappointed this one can't be located (someone ought to invent a device that detects old movie reels in attics and garages), but there's currently an Internet debate raging over whether or not this film even existed. The only reason anyone knows about Him at all is because in 1980 film critic Michael Medved (Orthodox Jewish fellow who now hosts his own conservative talk radio show, nationally syndicated and very concerned about moral degeneration in Hollywood) mentioned it in his book "The Golden Turkey Awards." Medved's book, apparently, is some kind of guide to really bad movies-- though he confesses that one of the films he discusses is a "hoax" he made up for fun. Many folks, including Andrew Sullivan, suspect the "hoax" film is Him. The only problem with this speculation is that this gent recovered a newspaper ad for Him during its original New York run. It's a mystery, innit?
The only two possibilities here are that a) Michael Medved visited a gay porn cinema in 1974 and took in an "all-male cast" drama about Christ, or b) Michael Medved is capable of imagining a gay porn flick about Christ. Both interesting possibilities, of course.

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