That Man: Peter Berlin


I remember seeing Peter Berlin strutting down Christopher Street in the 1970s with his Little Dutch Boy hairdo, tight white pants and his shirt unbuttoned to the waist. He looked like a Tom of Finland drawing come to life -- sexy and ludicrous at the same time, or as John Waters puts it in this illuminating and enjoyable documentary by Jim Tushinski, "like Dinah Shore with a hard-on." Peter Berlin only made two porn films, but as a gay icon, his life was an ongoing performance piece; he paraded up and down the streets of his hometown San Francisco with a look-but-don't-touch attitude, which he still retains to this day. His personal history and the touching recounting of the loves in his life are affecting and entertaining. Not to mention a jaw-dropping glimpse at his apartment, which is like a shrine to himself.

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