Return Of The Biograph Review

Hello dears. As I said in my brief note in the last edition of this ‘Times’ of the other world, I thought that there was a good chance that I would be able to carry on with my Biograph Review. Well, everything went according to my little plan, and here we are with a sparkling new feature on the Bio.

No thanks either to Mr Wheelan, the cinema’s manager. Luckily for me my friends at the ‘Times’ and the ‘Observer’ have helped me overcome the problem of obtaining the forthcoming programme. Thank you boys, I’ll settle up with you later, at my place. I sincerely hope that Mr Wheelan turns a colour when he sees this, serves him right for being such a big meanie.

Before I commence with my review, I must unfortunately offer fans of the Bio a word of warning. Recently our ‘friends in blue’ have been visiting our little Bio and making a considerable nuisance of themselves. Goodness knows why, I’ve never seen anything going on there that would startle me. Mind you, I have occasionally been given a turn by the size of some people, however they manage to sit down in those little wooden seats I just don’t know. To be serious though, I suppose the ‘guardians of the law’ have nothing better to do. Maybe now that the weather has become chilly, the criminals aren’t committing so many robberies, or else ‘lily law’ is feeling the cold a little too much and wants an excuse for a warm up. Anyway dears, take care. Better to be safe than sorry I always say, so keep a watchful eye open even if you are totally captivated by the delights showing.

Back to the silver screen. On 2nd November for three days, Marlon Brando and Richard Boone star in Night Of The Following Day. Lovely actors, both of these men, and they perform well together in this moving film. Support is our own Kenneth Williams, ably assisted by Phil Silvers, in Follow That Camel. It sounds rather rude but Ken should make it interesting enough to watch.

Sunday 5th November, for one day only, has Burt Lancaster, being ever so hulky, in a western called The Scalphunters. He shares the credits with super Shelley ‘Bloody Momma’ Winters. The naughty and puzzling My Wife’s Husband completes the bill. French comedy star Fernandel and Clair Maurier are the principal actors. A good laugh if you like a bit of the continentals. It’s also Bonfire Night this Sunday, but if you ask me, it is a lot safer to be in a cinema than taking part in the Gay Fawkes celebrations. I like a good bang like anybody else, but I feel a lot better about it if I know that the fireworks are only in responsible hands.

The shocking, but thought-provoking Soldier Blue is the major attraction for three days on Monday 6th November. The beautiful Candice Bergen and luscious Peter Strauss star in this violent saga from the ‘old west’. Second feature is Charro, which is one of those forgettable movies made by Elvis Presley. But his hips are still a treat.

The truly underrated Downhill Racer, starring Robert Redford and Gene Hackman is one half of the programme on Thursday 9th November. That Robert Redford, ooh! It’s a skiing epic with a moral or two. Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis are together in The Out Of Towners, which is also being shown. I haven’t seen this before but it sounds fun.

Sunday fare on 12th November is Operation Kid Brother, starring Neil Connery. It’s nothing very special, but the support feature, Trunk To Cairo is much more interesting. Two recently deceased movie stars, Audie Murphy and George Sanders are in the leading roles. The film is an exciting thriller.

The double bill of the fortnight is on Monday 13th November, when Carnal Knowledge and Catch 22 are being shown. The former stars sexy Jack Nicholson and the latter, Orson Welles. A very generous programme this, if not a little exhausting.

Well, my lovelies, that is what’s in store for you during the next couple of weeks at the Bio. Mind you heed what I mentioned earlier. I’ll let you know when things get back to ‘normal’. And I hope that none of you, including Mr Wheelan, think I have been too malicious with my words.

Before I go, thanks for all your letters, some of you are ever so kind. I might take some of you up on your offers too, but I’m rather busy still with the person I spent my recent holiday with. Love you all though.

Trolling In East Berlin

Reading the article in Gay News 8 on the position of homosexuals in Russia, I thought perhaps I could throw some light on the situation behind the Iron Curtain — or one small part of it at least. Although I have made two trips to Russia, I confess I have found little evidence of wide spread homosexuality there, though one night after a party a Russian boy did spend the night with me in my hotel. He had a girlfriend, and as he spoke no English, conversation was difficult — but presumably he was bisexual.

However, while the situation in Russia seems to be pretty bleak for homosexuals, it is a different story altogether in East Germany — or at least in its capital city. East Berlin. Don’t believe those stories you read about how drab life is behind the Wall – during a visit to East Berlin in 1968 I was surprised to find it a very different place to what one imagines it to be.

Walk along East Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse and you will pass many gay bars and restaurants. Heterosexual people touring with me were remarking on how open homosexuality is in East Berlin. They had been walking past the ‘G’ Bar (in German the letter ‘G’ is pronounced GAY) in Friedrichstrasse at closing time, and they said boys came out hand in hand, some with their arms round each other, kissing. One couple came up to these tourists and presented them with a bunch of flowers — I think they had some difficulty in getting away. Also, some women tourists in our party wandered innocently into a cafe on Friedrichstrasse for a cup of coffee, to find all the men staring at them. Finally a man who spoke English came over to them and explained politely that as they were tourists they wouldn’t know, but this cafe was frequented by prostitutes — whereupon these lady tourists made a hasty exit.

During a one week stay in East Berlin I discovered three gay places in the Friedrichstrasse alone – the G Bar, a restaurant and a coffee bar. The coffee bar was unbelievable — I had just come out of the G Bar when I saw everyone packing into this tiny coffee bar, so I squeezed inside and found hands groping me from every direction! Really, this place has to be believed — and is all so open — the doors wide open to the street. On one occasion I was leaving this bar with someone, and he grabbed hold ot my hand and held it as we walked down the street – nobody took a blind bit of notice. As he spoke no English and I no German he calmly stopped a woman in the street (whilst still holding my hand) and asked her to translate for him. Through her he asked me where my hotel was and would it be safe for him to stay there the night! She translated my reply then he thanked her and we went on our way.

Apparently the East German police turn a blind eye, and whatever the official line is on homosexuality in East Germany in practice the authorities are very free and easy and certainly East Berlin is a much safer place for homosexuals than London, for instance. Not only that, but East Berlin’s ‘S’ Bahn (elevated railway) trains run right through the night, so there’s no question of having to walk home after trolling late at night. Whether East Berlin is typical of most Iron Curtain capitals I couldn’t say, but I certainly had a gay time during my stay in the East German capital.

Anal Fixation

Last Sunday my boyfriend and I went to see ‘Dracula AD 1972’ at the Columbia cinema in Shaftesbury Avenue. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of gays leaving the cinema at the end of the programme (and also waiting to get in) as we never realised that dear old Dracula had such a following amongst the gay community. You live and learn.

Of course before you see a feature film nowadays, you have to sit through long, boring dollops of advertising at almost every cinema. My fella and I carried on our conversation while the first batch of ads were being shown. But then, accompanied with trendy music, on came the Levi jean ad. And what a sodomite’s delight it was too. The screen was filled with bum after bum, all gloriously enclosed in tight fitting jeans in various colours and designs. It was impossible to tell which sex was which, but a fair estimate would be that the ‘performers’ were fifty-fifty male and female.

Not only were the beautifully shaped bottoms flashing on and off the screen at a furious pace, but every now and then there would be a little story told. For instance, one person was being searched, I guess, for ‘pot’, another scenario was about a couple just about to make love. There were people meeting, fondling, and so on.

The law outlawing sodomy is hardly ever enforced, except when involving minors, but one doesn’t often see anything relating to the subject, except in completely exploitative, fantasy pin-ups and hard-core ‘pornography’. And gracefully curved bottoms, whether you are into anal intercourse or not, turn a lot of us on.

Maybe it could be argued that they especially do so for gays, but I for one don’t really accept that. Also I suspect that many heterosexual people are somewhat inhibited about parts of the human anatomy except for the most obvious regions.

The Levi ad, to people aware enough to appreciate the delights of buttocks, whatever shape or size turns them on, will find this short commercial film to be nothing but pure pleasure. It’s a shame that this is the only way people of like mind, whether male or female, can view such cheeky happenings at the moment.

Right on, Levi’s though, your heads are in the right place for some of us. Thanks from a grateful sodomite.