Wednesday, March 6, 2013

HISTORY OF PORN: PASSING OF A GAY PORN ICON (BY CASEY SCOTT)

Some of you may know the name, Arch Brown.  Many of you may not.  Big Shoe Fan and reader Casey Scott submitted an excellent piece on Arch Brown's history in porn to commemorate his passing in September of 2012.  We are honored that he has shared it for publication with us here.



The gay porn world lost one of its legends in 2012 and his passing was overlooked by every industry outlet, only noted in two gay publications (linked below). Arch Brown (real name: Arnold Krueger) never developed a marquee value name like Joe Gage or Wakefield Poole, but he didn’t seem to aspire to such notoriety. Chicago-born and raised, Brown’s background was in theater, and the films he made reflect an artistic bent that distinguished his work from that of his peers. Brown first burst into the gay porn scene at the virtual beginning of hardcore, with a collection of loops later compiled into a feature film (1977’s Five Hard Pieces). Brown’s first major feature, released through the MGM of 70s gay porn, Hand-in-Hand-Films, was The Night Before (1973), weaving elements of Cocteau and Fellini into the romantic journey of a handsome gay couple in the city. Many of his other films of the early-to-mid-70s remain difficult to see, but of the survivors, Hot Flashes (1976) continues his interest in mixing sexual stimulation with intellectual exploration. Brown was a master of the mind fuck.




The second half of his directorial career found him working for P.M. Productions, a NY-based distributor responsible for some of the most low-rent and hottest porn films of the era. These are the films that have found a new life on home video in the 21st-century, becoming some of the most widely available pre-condom classics on DVD. Jack Wrangler plants a bomb in a dildo in Dynamite (1979), a gay gym owner abducts clients for his personal stable of slaves in Muscle Bound (1978), and married man Eric Ryan takes a walk on the wild side with future director J.D. Slater and his circle of friends in New York Men (1981). If you haven’t seen Harley’s Angels (1978), where Kate, Farrah/Cheryl, and Jaclyn are replaced by three hot beefcakes screwing their way through an investigation, you haven’t lived. The film he should be remembered for is Pier Groups (1982), shot in and around the dilapidated Hudson River piers. An engineer for an urban development company spends a day scouting the location, stumbling upon anonymous sex at every turn. The film personifies the devil-may-care attitude towards public sex in New York before the emergence of HIV put the crackdown on public sex spaces in the 1980s.
 


Brown passed away September 3, 2012 in Palm Springs, CA. His remains will rest next to Bruce Brown, the man he met in 1965 and remained partnered to until Bruce’s passing in 1993. Their love story was chronicled in Arch’s autobiography, “Longtime Companions”, and the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation continues to provide annual grants to LGBT playwrights and theater groups.




http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/rem/09/22/arch-brown-filmmaker-and-playwright-is-dead-at-76/










4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Colby, will you be my baby daddy?

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  3. Casey: This is really great. They're wonderful movies, and now I'm feeling sad that I can't just pull them all out right now and watch them (and then pull it out and . . . )
    Thanks for the memories.

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  4. First time visitor. Very good post. Tangentially related to the post, I recommend "Unlimited Intimacy" by Tim Dean. A very readable academic book. If Colby and partner have time, I have an extra copy!

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