Thursday, June 30, 2005

Interesting fashion

Aftenposten gives glimpses of next year's fashion (from Milano) - among others the following creation (by Alexander McQueen).

If this is going to be a trend, I'm really happy about that - even though I don't understand why only the top half of the body should be painted... Here's a pic of what fashion would be like if they only took the idea to its logical extreme:

(Pic from Campus.)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Europride Parade

Yesterday was also the day of the Europride Parade. It was a wonderful day (only partly due to me having champagne and strawberries at 10.30 in the morning). The parade was seen by lots and lots of people - not including me, of course, as I participated in the Skeive filmer (Oslo gay and lesbian film festival) part of the parade. However, due to the wonderful invention of cameras, internet and so on, I have been able to get a little impression. This is my summary:

1) There were well-known people there

The picture of Sir Ian McKellen is from gaysir. I had the good fortune of being invited to dinner with Sir Ian the day before, actually. I keep regarding it as a date - even though there were 28 other guests, and that he didn't (to my knowledge) see me once during the entire evening...

Other celebrities were the leading politician in Oslo (Erling Lae), who is gay, as well as Nils-Jøran Riedl (also gay), who has just been given a job as priest in Oslo. And of course Kim Friele was present - Norway's queen of gay rights work.

(Picture from Dagbladet.)

2) There were good-looking people there
(The category of "good-looking" may of course overlap with the "well-known" category...)

(From Dagbladet.)

3) There were cops there

Police were given permission to use uniforms in the parade, to demonstrate that diversity is appreciated in the police in Norway. Great!

And there were a lot more people as well... A great celebration of diversity! I'm already looking forward to next year...

Mr. Gay Europe

Last night was the end of the Europride in Oslo, Norway. All in all, Europride must be judged a success, except that it kept me away from Blogger for most of the time...

The final show of Europride was the Mr. Gay Europe competition. Thirteen boys fought for the title, and notwithstanding comments that intelligence and all sorts of things were supposed to play a role, it seemed that good looks were not all forgotten.

My favourite throughout the evening was the Dutch candidate, Alexander van Kempen, but although he got the most top marks from the jury, he was not to become Mr. Gay Europe.

Instead, the winner was the Norwegian contestant, David Thorkildsen. ("who is also Mr Gay Bergen, originally comes from the tiny village Kvinnherrad. He is 20 years old and works as a sales representative. His hobbies include singing and dancing, music, kick boxing, rollerblading and art. He also likes to look after his body by going to the gym. David will compete in the Mr Gay Universe competition in Palm Springs, California in October 2005", according to Mr. Gay Europe homepage.

I'll include one more picture. The pictures are taken from gaysir.

After seeing Mr. Gay Europe last night, I decided to work out a little more before the summer season. (Although I do fear that there is a bit too little time to get in that kind of shape before... next week or something...) Perhaps I should have put a swimwear picture of me here as an example of what "real people" look like - but I guess you know that already...

Instead, I'll post a picture of Mr. Gay Norway 2004. He's painfully beautiful, so be warned:

Monday, June 20, 2005

Movie: Summer Storm (Sommersturm)

Summer Storm is simply one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It has a lot of things going for it. I'll mention a few:

First of all, Summer Storm is a beautiful coming out-story - telling how difficult it can be to realize and come to terms with the fact that you're gay. Yes, I know such stories have been told before, but not often as convincingly.

Secondly, it tells a few tales of friendships - both old and new, some that are expected to last forever, some that are destined to be short.

Thirdly, it's at times very funny. The rowing team of Tobi (Robert Stadlober) and Achim (Kostja Ullmann) enters a rowing competition, and are shocked to understand that one of the competitors is a team of gays. Their reactions are not unrealistic, but funny all the same...

And of course it helps any movie to have lots of gorgeous young men on the screen all of the time... This argument is underscored by the following pictures I guess...

(In Norway, the movie will hit the movies as "Sommerstorm".)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Music: deLillos at Norwegian Wood

On Thursday, my favourite band deLillos had a concert at the Norwegian Wood festival in Frognerparken in Oslo. They celebrate their twentieth “birthday” with the compilation album “Festen er ikke over... det er kake igjen” (“The party's not over – there's cake left” - a line from their song “Full men pen” (“Drunk but pretty”).

I had a great time. In the last couple of years I've been to concerts with Simon & Garfunkel, a-ha, Paul McCartney, Sondre Lerche, REM, Angelique Kidjo and so on, but nothing beats deLillos for me. Their songs have been a soundtrack to my life (to use a cliché) for the last 20 years – so much so that lines from their songs pop up in my head in the strangest of situations.

Their concert at Norwegian wood was great – they were in a very good mood. They played a lot of their classic songs (“Hjernen er alene”, “Tøff i pysjamas”, “Sveve over byen” to name just three), but also a few new ones. As always, I was not as happy about the new ones, but that's probably because I haven't got used to them. They were called back on stage twice. The first time, they were given a cake, then they invited former band members on to the stage to eat the cake... The second time, they started throwing cake at the audience – of course, they couldn't end the concert until there was no more cake left...

Tori Amos played for an hour before deLillos. Sorry, Tori, but for me that was just some background sounds while waiting for deLillos...

The picture is taken by Dagbladet on Saturday.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Movie: Mambo Italiano

Mambo Italiano is a moderately funny story set in an Italian family in Montréal. Angelo is 27 and still lives with his parents. The only acceptable ways of getting out of that life is to marry or to die. However, Angelo has a problem: he's gay, and he doesn't quite want to die...

The movie gives (yet more) parody of Italians. Moreover, the story of Angelo is a bit touching at times. Luke Kirby (as Angelo) is moderately good-looking, as is Peter Miller (as Nino). Decide for yourself whether you think that's enough to make you want to see the film. For me, it was worth every cent.

(Come to think of it, I saw it for free... Well, it was worth spending 92 minutes on...)

Movie: Mariscos Beach

Skeive filmer (The 15th Oslo Gay and Lesbian Film Festival) started yesterday. The opening film was Mariscos Beach – a funny film about a family going on holiday, only to find out that most of them have issues with their sexualities/sex lives that have to be sorted out. The shower plays an important part in the movie, as Charly (Romain Torres) early uses up all the hot water while jacking off in the shower. After telling his friend (who is staying with them for a week) Martin (Edouard Collin) about this, Martin can't help thinking about this whenever he hears the shower...

The film is funny, sexy and often surprising. (And Edouard Collin is a beauty...)

(The movie's original title is "Crustacés & Coquillages".)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Art: Louisiana (Denmark)

This weekend, I and two close friends went to Copenhagen. One of the goals was to go to Louisiana, the museum of modern art, which is half an hour by train from Copenhagen. We went there, and were very disappointed to see that a few of the rooms were closed off - with some of the paintings we (or at least I) were looking most forward to: by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein etc. (The rooms opened the day after we left.)

However, we did see a large selection of modern art anyway, and I'll give my favorites:

Miró: (unknown)
I don't remember the title of this "bird" outside Louisiana, but I think it's quite charming. I'm becoming a little fan of Miró, actually - I also liked his bird on the UCLA campus, see my posting on my trip there.

Andreas Gursky: Atlanta
This bewildering picture from a hotel in Atlanta (I suppose) fascinated us for a long time, as we were trying to figure out how it was put together (the perspective makes it clear that it's not been made in one single shot).

Victor Vasarely: Citra
I like the way the patterns are calm on the outskirts but busy in the inside. This print was also a calming experience after a few multicoloured pictures with no discernible meaning whatsoever...

Max Ernst: Le grand assistant
I just liked it... (The copy I saw was inside, by the way, while this photo is taken outdoors...)

Art: Bergen Art Museum: Rasmus Meyer's Collections

After spending the Saturday on "Lysverket", I spent Sunday on Rasmus Meyer's collections and the Stenersen building. I don't have much to say about the Stenersen building (which had a - for me - relatively uninteresting exhibition of Nikolai Astrup's art), so instead I mention some highlights from Rasmus Meyer's collections:

Adolph Tidemand: Bryllupstoget gjennom skogen
A great example of national romantic painting - and more lively than the more well-known "Brudeferden i Hardanger".

Erik Werenskiold: Liten gutt (Young boy)
Possibly it's the colours in this painting that I like. The boy seems staged, but still very much alive.

Edvard Munch: Aften på Karl Johan
It's strange to see a painting from a street that I pass almost every day, with all the associations that leads with it. Munch has painted a very different mood than what I'm usually in when I pass (luckily) - a lonely and fearful mood. At times like that, the anonymity of the big city is no help. An impressive painting.

Harald Sohlberg: Fra Sagene
I don't know exactly why I think this is such a beautiful painting. Maybe it's just that the clear afternoon light in winter is something I have grown up with. But the painting has qualities that I also appreciate in certain paintings from the Mediterranian - it has something to do with the light. But this is certainly no glorifying painting of a street from Sagene (a part of Oslo) - things are falling apart. But the afternoon sun still paints the sky a lovely yellow. Beautiful.

(This posting is a translation of the posting in my Norwegian blog.)

Art: Bergen Art Museum: Lysverket

About a week ago, I was in Bergen, and took the opportunity to visit Bergen Art Museum, which I actually hadn't visited before. On the Saturday, I went to "Lysverket", which has a wide selection of Norwegian (and some foreign) art through a long period of time. It was a nice exhibition with many interesting works, but with terribly few chairs. I will mention a few highlights (in the order that they are met in the exhibition):

Børre Larsen: Fallos
This is a sculpture put together from one ruler and a toy ski jumper - it reminds me of the innocent games of childhood, but also of the way youth sometimes measure each other to see who is largest. The shadow on the wall give associations to solar clocks - time passes and the sculpture is quite nostalgic.

Jon Gundersen: Vater (Leveler)
is another assemblage of a human figure and a tool, although it is mostly a cheap play of words (in Norwegian). A little figure is standing on the leveler (vater/water), ready to jump into what looks like a tempting pool when the dimensions are disturbed. A little cool.

Hiroshi Sugimoto: diverse
Sugimoto's sea-and-heaven-photos from several places in Norway and other places in the world are quite cool, in that they at first sight look like non-figurative drawings. There is a pair in the National Gallery as well.

J. C. Dahl: Fra Lysekloster (From Lyse convent)
If one of J. C. Dahl's paintings (and Bergen Art Museum has a lot of them) should be singled out, it has to be this one. Beautiful nature and with lots of contrast. "Bjerk i storm", which I had looked forward to seeing, was small and pale in comparison.

Edvard Munch: Landgangsbroen
What's so good about this painting, I'm not sure of. But there is a resolute woman that's turning away from the others and thereby coming right towords us and putting her background past her. A great painting.

Edvard Munch: Vinternatt, Ekely (Stjernenatt) (Winter night, Ekely (Starry Night))
This picture, on the other hand, is simple and quite symmetric, but disturbing. The viewer is standing on a hill, but does not have an unobstructed view - something is in the way. The green sky doesn't contribute to a cozy atmosphere either...

Paul Klee: Grener om høsten
There is something about the texture of this picture that I like. A little, at least. The special painting technique gives a very special impression - almost hairy... And the colours are - not surprising - autumn colours. Cool.

(This posting is a translation from my Norwegian blog.

Movie: Hip Hip Hora (The Ketchup Effect)

I've seen the Swedish film Hip Hip Hora today. This is an unpleasant movie - for several reasons. It shows how brutally easily a normal pupil may become the "whore" of the school, how little teachers and parents can do (at least when they don't understand fully what is going on). However, the most painful thing of the movie was perhaps to see the way in which the "good guys" found themselves on the wrong side of the picture. As Sebbe (Filip Berg) says in the movie: He doesn't know why he still hangs out with the bad guys - but he doesn't see who else he might hang out with. When he protests that they are going to far, he is asked if he's queer. Not wanting to be regarded as queer, he follows the rest of the gang...

See this movie if you're a parent or a teacher. If you're a teenager, see this to learn why you should stand up for your friends...

(Caption: There are lots of rumours about her - that she's the worst whore and so on.)

(Caption: Take a picture!)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Political Compass

The Political Compass places people on a scale from -10 to 10 in the economic dimension and from -10 to 10 in the Libertarian-Authoritarian dimension.

I scored:
Economic Left/Right: -1.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.15

That seems reasonable. (By the way, this probably means that I'm a bit to the right of the centre in Norwegian politics, as Norwegian politics are a bit more left-leaning than many other western countries...)

Friday, June 10, 2005

AFA easily offended

American Family Association is fighting the next Gay Games, and in a dedicated page, they show a few pictures from the 2002 Gay Games - taken from Chris Geary's website. They advertise these with the label "WARNING: By scrolling down this page, you will see only a few of the offensive photos taken at the last Gay Games."

What's the offensive bit? I do understand that some people may be (a lot) more easily offended than others, but trying to persuade others to accept their standard of offensiveness, is ridiculous. I decide not to be offended by bare-chested men...

Friday, June 03, 2005

Blog metrics - again

In an earlier posting, I introduced something called "blog metrics", whereby some simple numbers give an idea of the leanings of the blog. I'll redo the calculations from time to time, to see in what direction I'm heading...

"sex"/"work" ratio: 10/4 = 2.5

Other important ratios:

"love"/"hate" ratio: 4/0 = infinite

"fashion"/"nude" ratio: 3/21 = 0.14

"sport"/"art" ratio: 0/8 = 0.00

"travel"/"home" ratio: 5/32 = 0.16

(The ratios are calculated by googling my own pages - which means that only the pages that are currently in the google computers are counted.)

Art: Damien Hirst and Mo(nu)ments!

Yesterday, I had a wonderful day. I took the day off from work and went swimming in the morning. Then I met a friend and we went to the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (in Oslo) to see the new exhibitions there. It was great. I've been to the museum some times before, but always alone. It's another experience altogether to discuss each artwork with a friend...

One of the exhibitions focused on Damien Hirst. I'm not too happy about all his work, but I'll mention a few that I liked:

His "Mother and child divided" is controversial. It is an artwork made by dividing a cow and a calf in two. There are two things I like about this: First, I find it interesting to notice my own feelings: looking at the animals from the outside, I'm pleased at their beauty. Looking at them from inside, I'm disgusted. Still, it's the insides I'm most often in touch with - I usually only see these animals when they're already divided and put in nice plastic containers in the supermarket. Therefore, I find this artwork to be a reasonable comment on my own feelings about the animals.

The second point is of course the title: in this artwork, the mother and the child are divided - both in the meaning of being separated from each other and divided in half. Modern agriculture of course separates animals without regard for their motherhood or childhood...

The second artwork I liked - partly - is "Beautiful amore, gasp eyes going into the top of the head and fluttering painting". I find it beautiful, and I also see that it is a comment on Jackson Pollock. This comment on Pollock goes on to his "butterfly paintings", which I don't like, although I find them fascinating...

The third artwork I enjoyed was a series of posters called "The Last Supper". Here, Hirst had manipulated medicine boxes to become his own label(s) of food. The possible interpretations are many, of course - a simple one would be to see it as a comment on a possible future where all human needs are met by pills.

The other exhibition contained works from the collection of the museum - and was called "Mo(nu)ments!". There were some interesting works there as well - my favorites were two paintings by Andy Warhol. One of them ("Shoes", if I remember the title correctly), was pretty and reminded me of a great song by Bare Egil Band. The other ("Multicoloured Retrospective") fascinated me - the idea of a painter making a "best of"-painting just like pop artist does... The painting includes the image of Marilyn Monroe, Mona Lisa, Mao and Campbell's Soup...

And after this stay at Astrup Fearnley, we went to eat a good dinner and then continued to the National Gallery. But I've written about the new exhibition there earlier in this blog... (Oslo's National Gallery)