DADDY AND THE MUSCLE ACADEMY (1991)
A Film on the Art, Life & Times of Tom of Finland
(55 min; 35 mm; 1:1,33; stereo surround)
DADDY AND THE MUSCLE ACADEMY –
THE ONLY FILM EVER MADE ON THE ART,
LIFE AND TIMES OF TOM OF FINLAND (1920-1991)
Tom of Finland is one of the gay world’s few authentic icons. His drawings have had an enormous influence on gay identity – not only on the visual appearance of gay people, but also on their attitudes and self-understanding.
DADDY AND THE MUSCLE ACADEMY is the only film ever made about Tom of Finland. The film uses a variety of visual elements, including:
Tom of Finland in his own words.
Tom tells his own life story, starting with his childhood in rural Finland, and going on to the influence on him of WWII, his drawings and his experience in the United States. Tom also describes his drawing method and explains the personal and professional motives behind his drawings.
A retrospective of Tom’s drawings.
There are hundreds of Tom’s original works, starting with his early childhood drawings and first sketches. The development of Tom’s photorealistic style is illustrated using images from various magazines, books and posters spanning five decades. Tom’s last color originals are also included.
Tom’s men and their stories.
Leather men from different parts of the United States talk about how Tom’s drawings have influenced their own lives. There are also interviews with fellow artists Etienne and Nayland Blake, Bob Mizer of the Athletic Model Guild and Durk Dehner of the Tom of Finland Foundation.
Daddy and the Muscle Academy shows how Tom of Finland’s work passed from being the private fantasies of a man in Europe to underground images that shaped a generation’s ideas of how a gay man could look and act.
– Tom’s work is a blueprint for the appearance and attitudes of gay men in the latter part of the 20th century.
Tom’s ultimate leather men are known and seen all over the world. They are symbols of gay pride and friendship.
CAST: Tom of Finland, Tom’s Men
CREW: WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Ilppo Pohjola, CINEMATOGRAPHY: Kjell Lagerroos, ROSTRUM PHOTOGRAPHY: Seppo Rintasalo, FILM EDITOR: Jorma Höri, SOUND: Kikeono, ORIGINAL MUSIC BY: Elliott Sharp, DIGITAL REMASTERING: Digital Film Finland, FINANCIAL SUPPORT: AVEK, Finnish Film Foundation, IN CO-OPERATION WITH YLE/TV2/Documentary Project, Tom of Finland Foundation, PRODUCERS: Kari Paljakka & Alvaro Pardo