IMDb > Daddy and the Muscle Academy (1991)

Daddy and the Muscle Academy (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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6.6/10   197 votes »
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Release Date:
18 October 1991 (Finland) See more »
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Tom of Finland is one of the gay world's few authentic icons. His drawings have had an enormous influence on gay identity... See more » | Add synopsis »
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Atmospheric documentary on life of Erotic artist 'Tom of Finland' See more (1 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Tom of Finland ... Himself

Directed by
Ilppo Pohjola 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ilppo Pohjola 

Produced by
Kari Paljakka .... producer
Alvaro Pardo .... producer
 
Original Music by
Elliott Sharp 
 
Cinematography by
Kjell Lagerroos 
 
Film Editing by
Jorma Höri 
 
Sound Department
Pekka Karjalainen .... sound
Kauko Lindfors .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
Peter 'Splitty' King .... telecine operator
Peter 'Splitty' King .... video engineer
 

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Runtime:
Canada:55 min | Finland:58 min | USA:55 min
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Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Atmospheric documentary on life of Erotic artist 'Tom of Finland', 14 May 2002
Author: gus120970 from London, UK

The film gives voice to the life and creative impulse of the gay erotic artist known across the gay world as 'Tom of Finland'. Essentially an interview documentary with some very brief 'enactments' inspired by Tom's artwork, this is a long way from fetish pornography but is thought-provoking nonetheless.

Tom describes his early life in the Finnish army, in mundane jobs and, matter-of-factly, how he became inspired to put onto paper his exagerrated masculine fantasies of men in leather, uniforms and workwear.

Most of the interview is shot in the stillness of Tom's apartment/studio, with the film broken into segments centering on themes of his work: depiction of black men and women, technique, use of models and leather as his muse: "I put on a special outfit", he explains, "if I need to be inspired".

The subject is fascinating and likeable, even if the film-making is a little dry in tone. When it comes to the extremely short 'enactment' sessions, featuring shadowy, muscular figures in leather and SM play, there is none of the boldness and exuberance that the drawings, in comparison convey, even as static images.

Putting its arthouse stylistic shortcomings aside, the film is a precious document of this influential artist who died a few years after it was made. The brief commentaries from friend and critics point out just how deeply Tom's fantasies have become the primers for the post-war emergent gay subcultures of Leather/SM, with all their knock-on influence on wider cultural consciousness. While outsiders may not relate to Tom's proclivities, they will be moved by his integrity and skill in realising his fantasies.

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