Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

BEEFCAKE

Year: 1999
Country: Canada
Run Time: 93 minutes

Though barely known to the public at large, west coast shutterbug Bob Miser helped define the shape of 20th Century gay culture, with his playful stills and short films of dressed-down, camped up musclemen, sailors, bikers, gladiators, prisoners, swimmers, and surfers. Most of these fine specimens of manhood, including future Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro and forever-fit Jack Lalanne, belonged to the ?Athletic Model Guild,? a sort of in-house studio and beefcake boarding-house that Miser ran with his mother in Los Angeles. AMG guys appeared throughout the McCarthy and Eisenhower periods in body-building magazines like Strength & Health and Iron Man, their fetishized "physique" poses leaving little doubt what was really going on under the chaste surface of the nifty fifties. Was Miser a photographer or pornographer? Mentor figure or homosexual pimp to a stable of naive young Hollywood hopefuls-turned-hustlers? In a remarkable and nostalgic fusion of documentary interviews, vintage footage, and dramatization (utilizing Miser's own journals and LA County Court transcripts), BEEFCAKE revisits the golden days of Muscle Beach and goes behind the flex, pecs, and sex, under the skin of a misunderstood era.

Screenplay
Thom Fitzgerald (inspired by the book by F. Valentine Hooven III).

Director
Thom Fitzgerald

Producer
Shandi Mitchell, Thom Fitzgerald.

Cinematography
Thomas M. Harting.

Editing
Susan Shanks, Michael Weir.

Principal Cast
Daniel MacIvor, Carroll Godman, Josh Peace, J. Griffin Mazeika, Joe Dallesandro, Jack Lalanne.

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