With his trademark Dutchboy haircut, Tom of Finland physique, and oh-so-tight trousers, Peter Berlin was the poster boy for the hedonistic and sexually-liberated 1970s. Jim Tushinski’s fascinating, sexy, and ultimately touching portrait, "That Man: Peter Berlin," traces Berlin's story over the past 40 years, from his birth in wartime Germany to his current life in San Francisco, and shows the human being behind the icon.
Photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol, drawn by Tom of Finland, and lusted after by countless fans, Berlin was more than just a piece of eye candy. A talented artist, photographer, and filmmaker, he starred in two underground gay erotic classics from the early 1970s, "Nights in Black Leather" and "That Boy," which he also directed. But he was his own biggest creation, a carefully constructed, unattainable icon awash in eroticism.
His many fans and friends, such as director John Waters, author Armistead Maupin, adult film legend Jack Wrangler, filmmaker Wakefield Poole, photographers Rick Castro and Dan Nicoletta, and artist Robert W. Richards, offer their reflections on Berlin and the time period.
Most illuminating and exciting, of course, is the extensive commentary by Berlin himself, still looking remarkably boyish in his early 60s. Tushinski's interviews are complemented perfectly with an astonishing archive of photos and film clips that reveal the full scope of Berlin’s impressive body of work.
“That Man: Peter Berlin” is directed and produced by Jim Tushinski and co-produced by Lawrence Helman. The film was released in 2005. The original soundtrack was digitally released in 2009.
released September 30, 2009
== That Man Peter Berlin recording notes ==
The “That Man Peter Berlin” score was recorded and mixed in my studio at the time in the garret of 251 Laguna in San Francisco. This was a great project for a number of reasons. Jim Tushinski, the director, had seen my work, the AMC “Lookalike” documentary, on television. I was already familiar with Peter Berlin from his ads in “In Touch” magazine I’d seen in the early 1980s. But the whole thing had this very artsy spin to it. The temp track had a piece by Martinu in it.
The score’s recurring theme – “do-may-ti-tay-re-mi” – has a tonal ambiguity that reflects the complexity of Peter’s character and lends itself to variation. I hired my friend Nik Phelps (from the Sprocket Ensemble) to play flute and oboe. (He had played winds on my “Lookalike” score.) Thalia Moore played cello. That’s my baritone voice in the main title choral bit. The score was finished in December 2004.
At the time, I was using a rather involved setup with two computers. One computer ran eMagic’s Logic software that handled MIDI hardware, sequencing, and outboard samplers (an upgraded Emu-6400, Proteus module, and others), and a second computer ran a Pro Tools system acting like a tape machine that recorded and played back audio tracks. The two computers locked together via MTC or “MIDI timecode,” and the whole rig chased videocassettes that had SMPTE timecode recorded on an audio channel. Since I maxed out the Pro Tools system’s audio channels, everything returned via an analogue mixing console that could handle 40 inputs and was recorded to an external DAT machine (a stereo digital audio tape format).
Composer, author, filmmaker Jack Curtis Dubowsky works in concert music, improvisation, and live performance. His output
includes three books, a documentary feature, and musical compositions in multiple genres. Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble combines composed material and structured improvisation and has played theatres and venues nationwide, presenting live scores to silent and experimental film....more