Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland

DVD - 2018 | Finnish | Widescreen version
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Dome Karukoski's stirring biopic Tom of Finland follows his life from thetrenches 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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Kino Lorber, [2018]
Edition: Widescreen version
Copyright Date: ©2018
Branch Call Number: DVD TOM WORLD (FINNISH)
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (116 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,surround,Dolby digital 5.1
video file,DVD video,region 1


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Oct 22, 2020

In this era of widespread arrested development at pandemic proportions, it's a relief to witness an artist who fully developed and released their true ( divine ) potential over a lifetime and had something brave to show for it ( 3000 hand drawn pieces preserved, though his early works were stolen and not recovered ) ... I bought a sketchpad recently and I'm drawing what I love ... I am grateful to this movie for sparking that.

Oct 06, 2019

a sympathetic account of Tom of Finland, a man who inadvertently turned gay erotica into high art, though probably of interest to homosexuals only, their Michelangelo, who would find community in his work rather than the probable heterosexual revulsion, see his contemporary, Erte, for instance, to compare, doing the same thing, but gloriously, for high fashion

Oct 27, 2018

This is a biopic. Wonderful!
Remember those "gay porno" erotic black and white drawings?
They are kind of ubiquitous images. To the casual observer, these might seem a subversion or perversion of the male ideal. Well guess what? As seen here they were an empowering cultural phenomenon that freed gay men from negative stereotypes as fey, helpless victims... To me, very convincing and believable. The popularity of the drawings made so much more sense to me after seeing this.

Jun 30, 2018

I had no particular expectations for this film when I ordered it. I was just curious. If I had had any expectations, this piece of work went far beyond what they might have been. Living an authentic life when you are considered "different" is always dangerous and confusing and requiring of developing unique skills of navigation no matter what that difference may be. Worth a watch.

Apr 18, 2018

A Proustian and picaresque portrait of a shy young man who was to become T. of F. Born almost 100 years ago (1920), he went from a fresh-faced young soldier to a war-wary vet with PTSD whose hobby eventually defined/saved his life. The rest is, as we say, history. Back to Proust, the scenes segued seamlessly from past/present, fantasy/memory: expertly edited, painterly lit/composed, with a spartan cello soundtrack. Well, where are the naughty bits? Opening credits with a montage of fully-clothed men; polar-bear skinny dip; park n' toilet cruising, etc. Film started at the end in L.A., when T.of F. became the toast of California and saw his drawings become flesh. P.S. His first 'art' book was printed by an Orthodox Jew (no one in L.A. would touch it until he went from from A to Zagat). Fans of Colt (aka Jim French) will love the ToF-inspired poses and the more anatomically-correct sketches and photos.

Apr 17, 2018

There isn’t a gay man alive who hasn’t been exposed to the work of Touko Laaksonen (aka “Tom of Finland”) whose iconic B&W drawings of gorgeous men with impossible physiques and equally impossible endowments engaging in every sort of sexual act—usually clad in leather or other fetish wear—pretty much defined the underground uniform and S&M scene. Weathering censorship laws and the threat of imprisonment for obscenity, Laaksonen’s art went from beefcake drawings posted in those notorious “physique” magazines of the late 50’s to mainstream gallery exhibitions before his death in 1991 at the age of seventy. Dome Karukoski’s low-keyed biopic begins with Touko as a Finnish soldier in WWII, his subsequent career as a commercial artist, and the eventual road to infamy when he started dabbling with erotica, much of it based on his experiences cruising for sex in parks and private clubs as well as his fascination with men in uniform from cops to bikers. And just for a touch of cheekiness the director cast a moustachioed leather hunk as Touko’s artistic muse. Although Karukoski doesn’t shy away from the sex and kink, he’s more interested in Touko’s private life—his troubled relationship with his sister, his reaction to the AIDS crisis, and the amusing culture shock he experienced when he first arrived in that glittery den of iniquity called Los Angeles (a wet ’n wild pool party becomes surreal when the police arrive). Nothing earth-shattering here, but as a lesson in early gay history Karukoski gives you more than enough to think about.

Mar 22, 2018

I was prepared to be disappointed as this type of film so often falls short of engaging but this was great. You could feel the fear permeate the story line as homosexuality was a crime in Finland but it didn't stop Tom from following his passion. I was impressed that they focused on the artistry of what he sketched and didn't debase his talent by just referring to it as porn.


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Apr 20, 2018

Let them j*** off to QUALITY.


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