Saturday, October 16, 2010

Name-dropping - porn stars I have met: Kristen Bjorn

Kristen Bjorn:
His real name is Robert Russell. He was born 12 October 1957 in London, England, the son of a Russian mother and a British father. He was raised in Washington, D.C., where his father was stationed as a diplomat.

Bjorn arrived in San Francisco in 1978, where he encountered the gay community for the first time. “[I]t was all very strange to me.” Encouraged by the ideal of male beauty that he found in gay erotic magazines, Bjorn took up working out and paying attention to his own physique. Around 1980, he was photographed by Fred Bisonnes for Mandate magazine. This was followed by two appearances in Falcon videos: “Biker’s Liberty” (Falcon Studios 30, 1983) and “The New Breed” (Falcon Studios 32, 1983). Falcon chose the pseudonym Kristen Bjorn for him due to his resemblance to the Swedish tennis player Bj√∂rn Borg.

In 1982, Bjorn arrived in Brazil, where he was to spend eight years, until 1990. Initially, he worked as a photographer, producing as many as 20 or 25 photo sets a month. His first video, Tropical Heatwave, appeared in 1989. This production set the pattern for the dozens more that were to follow:

1. Given his interest in travel and foreign cultures,[6] many of Bjorn’s videos feature men of clearly identifiable ethnic backgrounds and nationalities in typical surroundings. The titles of his videos are indicative of this characteristic: Carnival in Rio (1989), Manhattan Latin” (1990), Caribbean Beat (1990), A Sailor in Sydney (1990), “Montreal Men” (1992), The Vampire of Budapest (1995), and so forth.

2. Bjorn prefers to work with amateur models rather than with porn stars. In his early films, the majority of his performers identified themselves as heterosexual.

3. Bjorn places great emphasis on the quality of his photography; it usually takes him about four days to film a single scene. Consequently, his production budget is unusually high given the standards of the gay porn industry.

4. Bjorn typically lives in the country in which his videos are produced. Thus, his emigration to Australia in 1990 gave rise to what he calls his “Australian trilogy” of movies;[7] when he returned to Brazil in 1993, a number of South American-themed films followed.

Kristen Bjorn currently resides in Barcelona, Spain.
The bottom picture of Bjorn directing a movie in Costa Rica was taken many years after I knew him. For the story of how I met him, see here. For X-rated pics, see here.