THAT MAN: PETER BERLIN
(2005, 80 mins)
Directed by Jim Tushinski
Produced by Lawrence Helman and Jim Tushinski
That Man: Peter Berlin had its world premiere at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival and was an official selection of over 65 film festivals, including the Seattle, Chicago, Palm Springs, Rio, and Durban International Film Festivals. In January 2006, the documentary opened theatrically to great acclaim. A Special Edition DVD was released by Water Bearer Films. In addition, That Man: Peter Berlin is available for streaming on Vimeo On Demand and Fandor.
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 documentary, 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, Peter 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.
PRAISE FOR THAT MAN: PETER BERLIN
One of the enduring icons of gay male eroticism, the phenomenon known as Peter Berlin is explored, explained, ogled and interviewed in the SUPERB DOCUMENTARY "That Man: Peter Berlin." The director, Jim Tushinski, couldn't have asked for a more colorful or brazenly documented subject, nor one who proves more UNEXPECTEDLY ENDEARING.
The New York Times
In Jim Tushinski's CAPTIVATING doc, '70s gay-porn legend Peter Berlin, sporting a flaxen Dutch Boy 'do and the tightest trousers, is classified by one admirer as "a full-body genital." ... GENEROUS AND COMPASSIONATE, "That Man" ties up Berlin's life in one nice package.
Time Out New York
Jim Tushinski's well-wrought documentary on '60s-'70s porn star/personality Peter Berlin demonstrates, if nothing else, the lives that are lived on the different sides of the sexual divide ... Tushinski's task, performed deftly, is to give Berlin his due as a character, image and emblem of uncloseted homosexuality and to establish his identity at the same time - something that documentarians enamored of their subjects often forget to do.
New York Newsday
Jim Tushinski's MASTERFUL "That Man: Peter Berlin" is a fascinating look at gay porn icon Peter Berlin, a blond god of the seventies whose crotch became an international cause worshiped by the likes of Andy Warhol. This is how Berlin manufactured his persona and then eventually receded into an apartment in San Francisco decades later – [a] rousing, arousing work