One of the year’s most acclaimed gay films, award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski‘s Tom of Finland is coming to DVD and Blu-ray in February courtesy of Kino Lorber. Known to the world as Tom of Finland, artist Touko Laaksonen shaped the fantasies of a generation of gay men with his proudly erotic and taboo-shattering drawings of testosterone filled, muscle-bound men. But who was the man behind the leather? This stirring biopic follows his life from the trenches of WWII and repressive Finnish society of the 1950s through his struggle to get his work published in California, where he and his art were finally embraced amid the sexual revolution of the 1970s. Tom’s story is one of love, courage and perseverance, mirroring the gay liberation movement for which his leather-clad studs served as a defiant emblem.
Also coming in February, timed with the release of the new biopic, is a special edition Blu-ray of an unusual gay classic. Blending live action, animation and interviews, Daddy and the Muscle Academy, originally released in 1991, is a steamy documentary from filmmaker Ilppo Pohjola that explores the life and art of the famed gay iconoclast – whose pornographic drawings of massively-endowed men in leather, uniforms and totally naked have aroused a generation of gay men.
This documentary on the life and art of Tom of Finland explores the evolution of the gay artist’s work from his crude, but sexy drawing of German soldiers during Finland’s occupation by Nazi forces during WWII, to him becoming one of the most popular illustrators of gay erotic images; reaching a point in his craft that he has become an icon in the realm of gay male erotica.
Tom himself is interviewed, shortly before his death in 1991 at the age of 71. He reminisces about his unusual childhood obsessions and his interest in erotic-romantic images that are filled with uniforms of varying types, leather and chains, and muscle-bound, well-endowed men.