DEKKOO DISPATCH 026 – ‘Animals’

Title – ‘Animals

Director – Marçal Forés

Starring – Oriol Pla, Augustus Prew, Dimitri Leonidas, Roser Tapias

Release Date – 2012

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Happy Outfest! I hope everyone who’s in sunny Los Angeles is having lots of fun and watching lots of sexy cinema at the film festival. If you’re not in LA then you should join in on the fun by watching the Outfest award-winning film ‘Animals‘ on Dekkoo which took home the Artistic Achievement prize back in 2013. I’m really psyched this film finally has arrived because it’s one of my all time favorites!! This is the first feature film of Marçal Forés who also directed ‘Everlasting Love‘ and while the two films are actually very different thematically, they’re very similar in regards to gorgeous cinematography (by Eduard Grau – ‘A Single Man’), exciting musical choices, and extremely attractive men. The soundtrack to the film in on vinyl and it’s one of my most played records. Soooo good!

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When I was growing up there was always lots of talk about having an imaginary friend. I was always sort of jealous when I’d watch movies and all these kids that were my age had this intense connection to something that I couldn’t really fathom. I wanted to be crazy too!! While I didn’t have an imaginary friend I certainly had a favorite teddy bear. I slept with it every night all the way through high school in fact (there were one or two replacements along the way). But right when I went to college he went in the closet and I don’t really miss him. In the film ‘Animals‘ though a teddy bear named Deerhoof is both Pol’s imaginary best friend and sole companion.

Deerhoof can walk and talk (in English bizarrely enough!) and talks to Pol about life, music, and comic books. Early on in the film we see Deerhoof grabbed by a dog and we get our first glimpse of how attached Pol is to his best friend and companion. But its not only the dogs that want to steal away Deerhoof, but also Pol’s brother who you can tell used to have a closer relationship before he joined the police force. Now he just acts as a demanding parental figure that wants Pol to get rid of Deerhoof and face reality. Luckily Pol has a few friends at school like Laia (who has a major crush on him) and Mark.

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Complicating Pol’s serene yet angsty life of comic books and cool Spanish punk music is Ikari, the new incredibly sexy boy in school. Pol can’t keep his eyes off him and eventually Ikari lets him inside a world that well… I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but the film definitely takes a turn! I feel like I’ve been making this movie seem normal minus the teddy bear, BUT IT’S NOT! Most people compare it to ‘Donnie Darko’ and I can’t really argue against that. It’s very surreal, goes unexpected places, and is quite serene and thought-provoking by the end. I had the privilege of being able to talk to the director right after watching it for the first time and I immediately asked him how much of an influence the short film ‘BUGCRUSH’ (which happens to be my favorite short film of alllll time) had on it and he smiled knowingly and said, ‘Quite a bit’. So if you’ve seen that then you know a little bit of the tone of the film at least.

Take a trip with Pol, Deerhoof, and the rest of the gang in the genre-bending and very queer film ‘Animals‘. On Dekkoo now!

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Watch it with:  With a few of your ‘cool’ friends.

Mix it with: Being stoned sativa-style works for this one.

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