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Remembering Jerry Douglas

Jerry Douglas passed yesterday, he was 84. Others have paid tribute to his legacy as a director/playwright (see the XBIZ obituary): yes, there was a time when every new movie directed by Jerry would be nominated for just about every porn awards and yes, many of these movies have left their mark. Above all, Fratrimony and More of a Man. But on this blog, I’d like to focus on his legacy as a film historian. From 1988 to 2001, “Manshots”,   the monthly magazine he edited, published in-depth reviews and invaluable interviews with directors, producers, performers. More than anybody else, Jerry and his “Manshots” contributed to the culture and the history of gay porn, delving into it like into any other film genre. When “Manshots” folded in 2001, followed by many other print publications, the history and criticism of gay porn went out the window, replaced by affiliate links. Critics –the like of Jerry– were replaced by bloggers solely interested in monetizing the content of the day (instead of criticizing it, analyzing it, contextualizing it). But a genre that no longer knows its past, that doesn’t reflect on itself, on its purpose, on its language doesn’t have a future –it’s no surprise that today’s porn is either corporate, soul-less, gimmicky porn or amateur smut (the countless straight ‘influencers’ barely showing their cocks and ripping off their gay viewers on OnlyFans).

I met Jerry in 1998 at the Taft building on Hollywood and Vine. I was editing my 2nd movie with Adam Rom (DESIRE, JOURNEY TO ITALY 2), he was editing with his trusted editor, Andrew Rosen. But we had known each other for a few years before then: Jerry entrusted me with a number of interviews for “Manshots”. With Derek Cameron, Ryan Block, Eduardo, Sam Carson, Blue Blake, Steve O’Donnell, Hawk McAllistar, Eric Kovac, Chad Connors… An experience I’m grateful for and one that gave me a better understanding (and a deeper appreciation) of the talent before the camera.

“Manshots” interviews with the pioneers remain –to this day– the only serious efforts at documenting porn’s rich and diverse history. From Scott Masters to Toby Ross, from Cadinot to DeSimone and Coletti. With Jerry we lost today a peerless director. And with him the memory of porn as an art form. As a Weltanshauung. Farewell.

Shooting Star -the musical

What an inspirational journey: from a “crazy” idea pitched in Berlin several years ago to a limited engagement at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. With endless more steps in between (the readings in NY and LA) and god knows how many hurdles for creator/producer Hans Berlin.

The idea itself was tantalizing: “a revealing musical” on… porn, no less.
The world premiere we saw at the Hudson’s –playing one final weekend this June 28-30– speaks volumes of Hans’ vision and perseverance. Of the talent he was able to attract: composer Thomas Zaufk, lyricist Erik Ransom, director Michael Bello, choreographer Jim Cooney… And of the brave cast who lent their voices and bodies to Hans’ characters (a shoutout to lead Taubert Nadalini, to a glorious Karole Foreman and an unforgettable Michael Scott Harris).

A work in progress, still, Shooting Star has the muscles to make it to the big stage. I look forward to booking my seat at the Pantages or the Ahmanson a few years down the road. Read the Operetta Research’s review

Private Sex Files: Andrea and Rico

Made in Italy. 27 year old Rico Fatale is 100% Italian but has lived in Germany for a number of years. We flew him from Berlin to Naples and paired him with cutie Andrea Fusco for this all-Italian romp. “Federico has a beautiful, friendly smile”, says director Ettore Tosi. “Why on earth does he pout when he poses for the camera?” Watch Andrea and Federico at LucasKazan