Coming soon: the ‘International Male’ documentary you never knew you needed

Image via Facebook

For gay men who came of age before the turn of the millennium,

the International Male catalogue holds a special place in their memory.

Glossy, risqué, and as trashy as it was alluring, it was
more than just a way to order mail-order clothes – it was a cultural
touchstone. The items they sold might have been more than a little tacky
(pirate shirt, anyone?), but the men who were modeling them for us were enough
to stir any young gay-curious boy’s imagination in the way that leaves a lasting

The company behind this little gem of gay history disappeared
along with the 20th century, and we’ve moved on – there’s internet
porn now, after all. Still, though International Male is gone, but the fond
memories linger. A trio of filmmakers is counting on those memories – they aim
to make a documentary telling the story behind the iconic queer catalogue, and they’re
asking for your help to do it.

According to their fundraising pitch
on the Film Collaborative website
, the film will be, “The
story behind the iconic International Male fashion catalog that transformed the
‘All-American Boy,’ changing fashion, masculinity, and gay rights forever.”

They offer the following synopsis:

“More than outrageous fashions, hunky models,
and scandalous undies, ALL MAN is a journey across three decades of the
International Male catalog’s lasting impact on fashion, masculinity, and gay

With revenues at its peak of $120 million and circulation of
over 3 million, the catalog successfully appealed to both gay and straight
audiences. For gay men, the images of sensually dressed men were a gateway into
a fantasy world providing an escape from the AIDS crisis and widespread
homophobia. For straight men and their female admirers, the catalog gave
permission to take fashion risks and enjoy a more carefree expression of
sexuality without threatening their masculinity and sexual appeal.

ALL MAN: The International Male Story is designed as a tribute
to the catalog’s unique aesthetic and cultural relevance. The film mixes
exclusive never-seen-before photographs and videos, interviews with super fans
and celebrities, and creative re-enactments of the infamous photo shoots, and

The movie’s directors are Bryan Darling and
Jesse Finley Reed, with Peter Jones as producer. According to the film’s Facebook
, Jake Shears is set to appear in it, along with Carson
Kressley, Brian Buzzini, David Knight, Steve Lyon, Robert Goold.

You can donate through the Film
Collaborative page

The post Coming soon: the ‘International Male’ documentary you never knew you needed appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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