Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pictures of a Life

A full weekend, not just action but emotion. Bob's book launch on Friday. John Stahle's memorial service on Saturday. Matthew Hittinger and Philip Clark put together a fine roster of eulogists at the LGBT center in the afternoon. John's freshman advisor at Fordham University, with whom John remained friends for 42 years, was eloquent about John's appetite for culture and gossip. OV described John's excitement over the birth of Ganymede, the gay men's art and literary journal he edited before his death. Philip read his essay on John's eye for art.

EN spoke of his last evening with John. In his description of their first meeting, he mentioned that John did not look like his photograph. John did not put his own photograph on any of his websites or Facebook page. He might have thought that he did not look attractive. He might also have thought that the gay men he courted--artists and audience--want a pretty face. The stage at the memorial service was fronted by two beautiful black-and-white photo-portraits published in Ganymede, one the silhouette of a muscle man, the other the face of a youth, looking like a martyr, surrounded by a tangle of branches. Two potent images gay men live by, but there was no picture of John.

That night, after dinner at a noodles bar in Lower East Side, GH and I watched Never Let Me Go, directed by Mark Romanek. Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, the film was beautifully shot. The story however was heart-wrenching, and GH could not shake off the mood after the movie. As Ruth, Keira Knightley was mesmerizing whenever she appeared. Carey Mulligan (Kathy) was as solid as Knightley was intense. Andrew Garfield was outstanding as Tommy, the confused young man who was always the odd boy out.

No comments: