An intriguing portrait of what happens to a pretty boy as he ages, That Man: Peter Berlin
catches up with the pornographic gay icon who specialized in self-portraiture. His distinctive image as a torso-baring, tight-pants-filling exhibitionist turns out to be only half the story Jim Tushinski uncovers in his video doc. Tushinski dutifully rolls out a coffee-table-sized compliment of photographs and film clips from Berlin's two classic porn pictures, as well as historical perspective from Armistead Maupin, John Waters, and the like. The main attraction, however, is revealing access to the 60-year-old Berlin. Confessing scorn for aging but somehow vain as ever, Berlin explains his approach to photography, his brushes with Warhol and Mappelthorpe, his sexual inclinations, and his various philosophies. Perhaps to maintain some mystique for his subject, Tushinski hesitates to clarify how Berlin spends his days today. The picture formed is one of contradictions: a man seemingly above it all but with an undercurrent of vulnerability reserved for a select few loved ones.