Muscle: Hollywood’s Biggest Special Effect

By Mark Simpson (Independent on Sunday 31 March, 2002) Guys! Do you worry that your body isn’t sufficiently lean and muscular? Do you frequently compare your muscles with other men’s? If you see a man who is clearly more muscular than you, do you think about it and feel envious for some time afterwards? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions it used to mean that you should send a postal order to Mr Charles Atlas to ask for advice. Nowadays, if the […]

Gore Vidal Turns Off The Lights on the American Dream

Mark Simpson speaks to the mother of Myra Breckinridge, and scourge of imperialism, monotheism – and monosexuality (Arena Hommes Plus, Summer 2009) I”m hearing the last living Great American Man of Letters. He says something else I don’t hear and I ask him to repeat it. Suddenly this 83 year old legend is very loud and very scary indeed: ‘IS “QUIET” A EUPHEMISM FOR DEAD?!’ he thunders in a voice much more Biblical than his old foe the late Charlton Heston was ever able to muster. […]

Metro Cowboy to Play Metro Athlete

Hollywood has apparently taken note of the global publicity surrounding uber-metrosexual English footballer David Beckham’s arrival in Tinseltown and decided to dust off America’s own, discarded metrosexual sportsman prototype, 1960s flamboyant, fur-coat wearing NFL quarterback Joe Namath and give it the big-screen treatment. Jake Gyllenhaal is to play Namath – popularly dubbed ‘Broadway Joe’ – in a Hollywood biopic of the Hall of Fame sportsman who was the first American footballer to become a multi-media phenemonon and Madison Avenue model. In other words, the actor […]