Last of the Biograph?

Is this the last Biograph Review? Why was there no Bio Review in GN No 7? What has happened to Julian? Has Julian contravened the Obscenity Laws or sold out to Lord Longford? Has the Bio turned the lights off?

These and other unasked questions will be answered by Julian in his following article, which could possibly be his return and his departure!

Oh loves, you won’t believe it! Your own dear Julian has been nobbled. I’ve been interfered with by forces out of my control. And it’s all very nasty I can tell you. In fact I will tell you. Here’s what has been happening to yours truly.

Those of you who have been wise enough to buy this delightful publication since it first appeared will no doubt have regularly noticed, if not read, this little feature of mine called the Biograph Review.

It was written in the hope of communicating to you some of the pleasures I have enjoyed at that little cinema. Or my little haven as I used to call it. I also, so you wouldn’t be quite so much in the dark about some of the more glorious celluloid creations they often show there, provided details and reminders about what’s on and when. I also passed a comment or two about past and future showings, and said the occasional word about the comforts to be found in the Bio.

And now and again I’ve been a little critical about either the films or the running of the cinema. Remember what I had to say about torch flashing.

Well, after thrilling you for six issues of this paper – and drawn a few comments I’d rather forget from some of you – it came to the time when I had to phone Mr Wheelan, manager of the Bio, to get the information I needed to write my review for the next issue.

When I got through to Mr W, the reception I recieved wasn’t quite the one I had anticipated. His greeting was somewhat curt, to say the least, and when I asked him for the forthcoming programme I was told that he felt he would rather not have the Bio mentioned or written about by me in this paper. Well you could have knocked me down with a half empty packet of Boots cotton wool. When I had gathered myself together I ventured to ask why he had taken such a turn towards me. To this I was told that he considered my writings to be malicious. Oh, that hurt – me, sweet little Jules, accused of maliciousness. I’ve had a few things said about me in my time, but that one takes the cake and eats it.

By this time, I might say, I was beginning to get a little cross, but not wanting to make the situation worse, I calmed myself down, and bravely and charmingly tried to find out what specifically was upsetting him so. But he wouldn’t say much more, apart from again stating that he considered the aims of my writings to be malicious towards his cinema, and that I didn’t realise that his establishment was for the benefit and pleasure of all. I replied that I had seen ladies there, but also had heard stories about the trouble they sometimes caused. I also reminded him that it was patrons like myself who not only made him his bread and butter, but also helped to put a fair portion of jam on top of it.

But he wasn’t interested in anything I had to say. Even reminding him further of the free advertising I gave the Bio (as well as the full programme being advertised in the paper) came to no avail.

So Julian’s been sabotaged. My career as a respected cinema critic has had its roots pulled up. I don’t quite know, at the time of writing, what I can do about the situation. If you feel strongly about your Jules being censored, I suggest you give Mr ‘Bio’ Wheelan a ring at his cinema (01-834 1624) or at his office (01-493 8771-3), and tell him exactly what you think of him and his dirty trick on me.

I do have a little plan about how I can get the information needed to write my piece, but have no guarantee that it will be successful.

It has been suggested by my editors that I move on to other and better things to write about. Maybe restaurants or fashion – it has even been recommended that I take on the task of reviewing the new 45 RPM single records. I would much rather continue with the Bio Review though, but even if I don’t (or can’t) your Julian will come up with something super to titillate you with.

I might add that my mind’s been in turmoil for the past couple of weeks. I was so sorry about letting down all you people who had taken a liking to my column. But let me say this, being nobbled isn’t easy, as some of you must surely know, especially after a certain age, but that’s another story, isn’t it?

Just bare with me for a little while, Julian isn’t beaten yet. Take care of yourselves dears. Flowers care of this paper’s office please.

ED. Will Julian come bouncing back? Watch this space in our next issue for the continuing saga of adorable Jules. He’s a wise and canny old bird really, so there should be more goodies in store for you all. RIP little Bio. Kill the crabs.

Batchelor of the Year

All readers of Gay News must, we are convinced, be afflicted with desperate longings to hear all about Alexander Lange who has been selected by Penthouse as Bachelor of the Year. None of us see Penthouse very often, but we found out about him through a write-up (hardly profile, or even interview) by Linda Blandford in The Sunday Times. Mr Lange’s main qualification, apparently, is his ’sensitivity towards women’, so Miss Blandford trotted along, all a-quiver, to find out for herself. The article is revealing, for between his quotes and her comments, we find a portrait of what can only be called an arrogant bully. Under a thin guise of olde worlde courtesy a new standard of male chauvinism, approved of and encouraged by Miss Blandford emerges.

“I couldn’t care less what is fashionable and what is old-fashioned – I find it almost impossible to sleep with more than one girl at a time.”

Presumably Mr Lange doesn’t mean that he can’t make it with two or more different girls in the same night, but that he can’t keep two or more mistresses going at once.

But notice that “almost impossible”. Also, disclaimers of modishness usually indicate a preoccupation with it.

“It’s a question of feelings, of giving myself, of wanting to be fair and honest with any girl I love, even to the point of sacrificing my own desires sometimes.”

A noble sentiment. But again we have a qualification – ‘sometimes.”

“He’s 29, 6′ tall and moves with the sinuous appeal of a man whose clothes only just become him more on than off.”

How does she know? Or maybe it’s a bit of wishful thinking.

“He’s a curious mixture: French on his father’s side, German on his mother’s, Swiss by birth and a product of Yale University and the United States army …”

It’s kinda dangerous for smart lady journalists to let their repressed xenophobia surface. What’s so curious about a mixed parentage? The world is small, people do travel. In describing him as a “product”, Miss Blandford is herself seeing him an object, as part of a consumer survey.

“He drives a white Porsche . . (has a) . . white and oatmeal flat chromed with elegance …”

Sexual desirability assessed by conspicuous consumption. And we couldn’t care less about fashion, remember …

“He keeps lists of everything and files it away in neat rows in his meticulous (flat).”

Somewhat obsessive wouldn’t you say? A touch repressed somewhere perhaps?

“He opens doors for ladies, stands up for them …”

What about us women?

“ . . buys them chocolates and flowers – not the mass-produced corner-stand rosebuds either, but proper long-stemmed roses, with genuine thorns on them.”

That is, he treats ladies as pretty dolls, entices them with extravagance.

“He’s also been known to send one girl friend … a list of rules on how to behave, including ‘Do not arrive unannounced’ ‘Do not telephone more than once a day’ and, inevitably, ‘Do think of me ‘.”

This is the biggest give-away of all. Arrogance, selfishness. Little evidence of a willingness to sacrifice his own desires there.

“He once dropped a girl friend he loved because she slept with someone else – it hurt him too much.”

Hurt his pride presumably. Or perhaps the poor girl had used up her one allowed daily phone call to apologise for putting her longstemmed roses in his filing system and couldn’t explain that someone more sinuous (or possibly more human?) had come her way.

Or maybe he was performing the almost impossible at the time.

MISS BLANDFORD CONCLUDES that it is encouraging to find Penthouse valuing such sensitivity. “Normally the magazine jangles girls on a man’s chatelaine like so many keys of doors he may or may not want to open some night”.

Doesn’t she realise that she herself has just spent seven and three-tenths inches (which reminds me of something we didn’t learn about Mr L) praising a man who wears exactly that chatelaine?

Oh, I almost forgot. “Alexander Lange considers he is unusally nice.”

How Important is Perfume?

Living in the countryside one’s sense of smell is keener than the city dweller, with his nasal passages clogged by pollution from factories, cars etc…. When I arrive in London I am conscious of lots of new smells which excite my senses. Coffee and cheese wafting down the Old Crompton Road from Italian delicatessens. Garlic and other herbs crushed by the greengrocers and left ouside their highly coloured shop fronts in Soho. Tar bubbling up through the thin layer of dirt on the busy roadway … all excite the nostrils.

But as a ‘gay’ member of society I am more excited by the exotic perfumes from the models, debutantes, shop manageresses and other sophisticated women I pass in the bustling streets. I long to stop them and ask the name of that ‘heady’ perfume, that subtle fragrance or that delicate woodland grassy odour …

I dare not go into the big department stores and try their sample bottles because of the strange stares from the assistants. Anyway I find that after using both wrists and the backs of both hands, my poor nose is bewitched and my memory cannot sort out one perfume from another, they have mingled…

I did once pluck up enough courage to do just this in our local branch, and went back to my own place of work reeking like a Turkish brothel on a hot Saturday night.

Yet I still love perfumes. All through my life I have used them even though my father called me a ‘nancy boy’ and ‘Pouffe’ etc. Luckily most people I worked and spent my leisure time with appreciated that ‘I smelt nice’.

It wasn’t until a French friend came to stay that I discovered the names of some of the more expensive colognes for men (or women).

My first real love was ‘Habit Rouge’ or ‘Hunting Pink’ by Guerlain. This drove me into a frenzy and I longed to use it in buckets full but so crafty was the fragrance, so full of promise that a little was enough and proved itself over and over again. It travelled with me from Hong Kong to Thailand, Singapore and Bombay. It lasted through Mombassa, Durban and Dakar and when we finally docked in Marseilles the bottle was empty and I longed to reach Paris and buy more of this wonderful cologne.

But here I discovered another, more exciting cologne. It was Nina Ricci’s ‘Signoricci’. When I wore this around the gay clubs I was never left ‘on the shelf’. I received many compliments.

Now after travelling in America and sampling their after-shaves and colognes, I find them all rather boring. They all bear lusty butch names and nearly all smell like Old Spice (Cat’s Piss in my opinion) or Brut. Now is the time for all good ‘gays’ to branch out and be more daring in their choices because there are so many new ‘smells’ about … longing to be tried.

The newest little treasure is M&W’de Messire, one I discovered this morning in our local branch of Roses. I went to buy Arramis which has proved a real bomb at parties. But my nose was attracted by this new thrilling scent. I enquired immediately what was this new fragrance I didn’t recognise. The young lady rushed at me waving the sample bottle, and in seconds I was in a fragrant cloud. Drugged by the overpowering excitement I reached into my pocket for that last fiver of the week and bought a modest sized bottle for £2.25.

Within half an hour of returning I had two builders turn and stare. An electrician pause in his work and sniff, and all had that mysterious puzzled look of the male in search of his mate … yippee …

Just how important is perfume. One hundred percent. If it took my last penny I’d buy colognes. They are an investment. The most ugly young man with pimples and buck teeth becomes desirable when using a subtle cologne.

When you work with the general public one begins to realise just how many use perfume wrongly, to cover up other smells. BO cannot be covered or disguised. Soap and water is the only answer. Strangely enough in these modern times it’s the men who smell better than the women. Perhaps they have more cash to spare. Once the tweed-jacketed, pipesmoking farmer could be counted on to bring that piggy manure odour into the store with him. Now he smells of Aqua Manda. The delivery boy uses Aqua di Selva, a pine-woods nostalgic scent. The young man in the boy’s boutique is even more bold in his choice – he uses Chamade by Guerlain. Too strong for many youths but this boy invites rape at every glance.

I can only thank god for my nose … I enjoy life so much more by sniffing my way around London and indeed around the world. I can hardly wait to set off again, nose held high to discover some other exotic perfume.

Some recommended colognes for the more adventurous