6 October 2017 | pacolopezpersonal-22057
The success of the hidden
Touko Valio Laaksonen was the man hidden behind the pseudonym of Tom of Finland, a draftsman who began drawing for advertisements, using as complement for the work a camera to capture characters and postures; photos, that later, through his pencil he would become into commercial (or not so commercial) pictures, since he secretly had an inclination: he obsessively drew erotic male illustrations. Tom had in common the use of the camera with Robert Mapplethorpe but Robert used it to enhance the beauty of the human nature while Tom would disfigure it. Tom has in common also with Norman Rockwell to have begun like advertisement draftsman, but Rockwell evolved towards the portrait of the friendly face of life. Tom of Finland is neither one nor the other, he finally became in the creator of an universe in which the super macho man gravitates with all his excesses, adorned by a paraphernalia of uniforms, pants and shirts impossibly tight, leather, etc. whose ultimate aim is to carry the virility and the homoerotic excitement to the last degree. This movie treats the whole matter with great delicacy; to the extent that one of the protagonists tries a psychiatric treatment to cure himself of his "illness". In Europe, homosexuality at that time was socially rejected, punished, and therefore hidden. In América It did not reach all those extremes and a more openly situation contributed to the success of Tom's work. The protagonist ends up pretending to be one of his drawings but only manages to be an outline because his complexion and nature has nothing to do with the characters he drew. His sad and gloomy smile and behavior despite having achieved the success were always accompanied by the inseparable cigarette whose (by the way) omnipresence constitutes nearly an abuse towards the viewer. Throughout the film, every time everywhere cigarettes and smoke are present. It is said that in the movies, in case of the hands and movements of an actor are not expressive enough the solution is a cigarette. Here we come to think that we are subliminally manipulated. Apart from this anecdotal observation the film is worth to watch.