DEKKOO DISPATCH 040 – ‘A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE’

This is the art for the movie A Closer Walk With Thee

Title – ‘A Closer Walk With Thee

Director – John C. Clark, Brie Williams

Starring – Aj Knight, Gregory Shelby, Kelsey Boze, Megan Hensley

Release Date – 2017

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Lordy, lordy look what just turned 40! The Dekkoo Dispatch! We’re officially into daddy territory now and couldn’t be happier… We’re still butt deep in Halloween season so it’s time for another blood-curdling gay horror film to spice up your week courtesy of your friends at Dekkoo 😉

Last week we took you to Spain and into the minds of queer killers with ‘In A Glass Cage‘. This week we’re heading to Los Angeles where four Evangelical missionaries live together and work to convert the agnostic (that means they’re heathens sweetie) neighborhood they’ve set up shop in. Dubbed as a ‘Homoerotic Evangelical Exorcism Film’ – ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ is a devious piece of low-budget horror filmmaking with some great acting and some very lusty set pieces.

Aj Knight stars as Jordan, a simple missionary trying to do God’s work, but unfortunately gets distracted by Eli, the handsome pastor leading the mission. When Jordan is caught masturbating to Eli’s naked self in the shower the group gradually starts exploring the theory that his homosexual urges could be the work of a demon possessing his body and soul. The movie is full of awesome sexual awkwardness between the two and once it gets to the exorcism scenes you’ll definitely be enjoying yourself.

The directors (a gay and a lesbian! super awesome!) explain why they made the film: “We began ‘A Closer Walk With Thee with a basic idea: a religious horror film depicting ‘gay-conversion’ exorcisms, a fringe practice within the Evangelical community that has been growing steadily in recent years. We wanted to take the already emotionally charged experience of coming out of the closet and place it in an even more heightened environment  — amidst a group of fundamentalist young people living together in a house church performing exorcisms on their fledgling congregation.

As the story began to take shape, it became the story of one character, Jordan, experiencing a struggle that so many people face: being in a deadlocked battle between desire and religious conviction. The journey of the film is his journey — at first quietly uncomfortable, increasingly disorienting, guilt drenched, and ultimately madness-inducing. What started off as an idea to make a fun, weird religious horror had developed into a more complex drama/genre film, and it was one that we were excited to explore.”

Whenever I can invite a guest analyst to take a more academic approach to a film on Dekkoo I make sure to and this week I managed to snag one of the biggest contributors (both in filmmaking and with wild appreciation) to the world of Queer Horror, Michael Varrati who has this take on the film: “Amid lingering shots of male physicality and heightened sequences of youthful lust, ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ expertly threads an ever encroaching sense of unease throughout its narrative. By showcasing the schism caused when rigid ideology and primal desire clash under the same roof, the film exponentially magnifies that sense of unease felt by queer individuals forced into situations wherein they are not able to be their true and authentic selves.

More so, the film never goes out of its way to directly condemn the actions of the missionaries, and a gruesome, supernatural third act lends itself to a morally gray read of the movie overall. Perhaps though, this is A Closer Walk With Thee’s greatest strength as a horror film. Rather than visit the terror onto one individual, none are entirely absolved from the evil inhabiting their world. Shocking, thoughtful, and subversively sexy, ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ is the kind of movie that makes you want to free yourself from sin…if only so you may sin again.”

 

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Watch it with: Friends that love sexy men and scary movies

Mix it with: Sacramental wine blessed by your local sexy priest

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 039 – ‘IN A GLASS CAGE’

Title – ‘In a Glass Cage

Director – Agustí Villaronga

Starring – Günter Meisner, David Sust, Marisa Paredes, Gisèle Echevarría

Release Date – 1986

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Darkness. A house containing evil and secrets. Innocence lost. A desire for revenge and murder. ‘In a Glass Cage‘ takes no prisoners and instead marches onwards through its self-made carnage towards a delicate balancing of art-house sensibilities and an exploration of twisted humanity. In fact this film is so disturbing that even John Waters said, “I’m too scared to show it to my friends!”

Agustí Villaronga made the harrowing film in 1985 and partially based it on Gilles de Rais, a companion to Joan of Arc and a notorious and self-confessed murderer of children (supposedly in the hundreds!). Like Pasolini’s ‘Salo’, Villaronga decided to set his tale at the end of WWII and utilizes a Nazi as the twisted figure at the center of the film. The film starts without remorse with Klaus (our resident evil dude) taking photos of a boy hanging from a rope. He’s naked and bears the marks of repeated tortures (I never said this was an easy movie to watch!!). After dealing the killing blow to the young boy Klaus seems to have some sort of revelation and immediately runs up to the roof of the house and jumps. Meanwhile someone was watching the proceedings and steals Klaus’ scrapbook/diary of his evils.

Fast-forward a few years and we’ve found that Klaus, while still alive, is now living inside a large iron lung. A device that controls his breathing. Without it he dies. His wife (played by Almodovar regular Marisa Paredes) and young daughter have been taking care of him in a country house in Catalonia where they try and avoid the Nazi witch hunt taking place in the rest of the world that would surely condemn them. Suddenly an invader boldly infiltrates the house and locks the door where Klaus is kept. When the wife demands to be let in she finds Angelo, a brooding young man petitioning to become Klaus’ nurse. Much to her dismay Klaus insists that Angelo stay to be his nurse and we eventually find out that it’s because Angelo is the one that knows all of Klaus’ secrets.

What follows is a dangerous lesson in power dynamics and the nature of evil itself. The beginning is dramatic, the middle is disturbing, and the end of the film is incredibly hypnotic and moving.

Besides the fantastic acting and writing, the cinematography is really what stands out to me in this film. Jaume Peracaula has lensed almost all of Agustí Villaronga’s films and he manages to find a perfect balance between light and dark and most of all the color blue which I’m sure has some symbolic meaning that I can’t quite figure out (I’m being honest at least!). The transfer that we’ve brought to Dekkoo is the latest High Definition remaster which really is miles better than the old DVD that used to exist where you could barely make out what was happening in half of the film.

While the themes are difficult to handle I truly love this movie. Top 25 for sure! To me it seems like ‘Salo’ as directed by Dario Argento and Pedro Almodovar and I’m crazy excited that it’s finally here on Dekkoo where you can challenge yourself to Agustí Villaronga’s masterpiece.

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Watch it with: Probably just yourself.

Mix it with: Water.

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 038 – ‘UN CHANT D’AMOUR’

Title – ‘Un chant d’amour’

Director – Jean Genet

Starring – Lucien Sénémaud, Bravo

Release Date – 1950

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Today on Dekkoo we’re featuring an early masterpiece of silent Queer Cinema: ‘Un chant d’amour‘ directed by the notorious criminal-literary queer Jean Genet. The 25-minute film was one of the first cinematic depictions of explicit homosexual desire and sexuality which therefore made it ripe for censorship by many governments around the world. The movie exists as a highly entertaining piece of art-cinema, an autobiography of Jean Genet, and a harrowing portrait of homosexuality in prisons.

I feel an introduction to Jean Genet is needed in order to appreciate this film as much as possible. He was a social rebel, a criminal queer, a playwright, and a writer of literature. His novels ranged the gamut from autobiographical tales of his time in the Mettray  Penal Colony lusting after fellow prisoners (“The Miracle of the Rose”) to fictionalized romancing of criminal queers (“Our Lady of the Flowers”) to tales of strong beautiful sailors who turn to criminal activities (“Querelle de Brest” – which Fassbinder later adapted into a movie in 1982 – his last movie before overdosing). His early life sounds like something out of a Christine Vachon-produced film. His mother was a prostitute who raised him for 7 months before dropping him off at an orphanage. While he grew up he excelled in getting into trouble and running away from home even though he had a supportive foster family. At 15 he got sent to a penal facility. At 18 he joined the army, but was later kicked out for getting caught having sex with men. After that his life consisted of wandering around Europe, getting into trouble and going to jail a bunch of times until he met Jean Cocteau who had taken a liking to his writings. When finally faced with life-in-prison due to being in prison 10 times – Jean Cocteau and other influential artists managed to convince the French President to pardon him. After that Jean Genet never went to prison again.

So let’s dig in to the film itself. ‘Un chant d’amour‘ is a silent film. Supposedly sponsored by wealthy French gays who wanted to add it to their porn collections the film starred Genet’s lover at the time, Lucien Sénémaud whose beauty he claimed, “harpooned me” and two other actors who we don’t know much about besides that one of them (the older prisoner) was a pimp named Bravo. The film has 3 central characters: A sexy 20-something prisoner with swagger, an older Arab prisoner in lust with his next-door neighbor, and a prison guard that acts as a jealous voyeur throughout the movie, constantly watching the prisoners interact. Of course because there’s a wall between the two would-be-lovers their interactions are limited to blowing smoke through a wall and swinging a bouquet of flowers outside their prison windows. Nothing stops them in their dreams though…

After it was screened in 1966 Sol Landau was indited by police in Berkeley, CA for screening an obscene piece of cinema. After fighting the case all the way up to the Supreme Court he ended up losing with a 5-4 ruling by the court. The Alamadea Superior Court claimed it, “explicitly and vividly revealed acts of masturbation, oral copulation, the infamous crime against nature [a euphemism for sodomy], voyeurism, nudity, sadism, masochism and sex…” and that it was “cheap pornography calculated to promote homosexuality, perversion and morbid sex practices”.

If you’re a self-proclaimed Queer Cinema nerd then ‘Un chant d’amour‘ is without a doubt a MUST-SEE. I’ll leave you with these words by Jim Clark who by my research has created the best article dedicated to ‘Un chant d’amour‘ out there, “Genet takes us places, invariably in the underworld of hustlers, thieves, murderers, and convicts, where most of us have never set foot; but even as he exposes their lives with excruciating fullness, he reveals – and celebrates – their/our common humanity.”

 

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Watch it with: One or two fellow film nerds.

Mix it with: A deep, dark, french wine.

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 037 – ‘CENTER OF MY WORLD’

Title – ‘Center of My World’

Director – Jakob M. Erwa

Starring – Louis Hofmann, Jannik Schümann, Svenja Jung, Sabine Timoteo

Release Date – 2016

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It’s officially Fall now, but it feels like Spring over at Dekkoo because we’re in LOVEEEE!! ‘Center of My World‘ has officially arrived to Dekkoo hot off of its festival tour around the globe where it captivated the hearts and souls of thousands of people who got off their butts and went to their local LGBTQ Film Festival. But if you were lazy (or if you happened to be in South Dakota at the time) now exclusively on Dekkoo you can finally watch it a month before DVD!

The reason we’re so excited about this film here at Dekkoo is because it’s very rare in the realm of cinema to encounter a big budget, high-quality gay romance film. In fact we probably only get 2-4 per year if we’re lucky! ‘Center of My World‘ is exactly that.

„DIE MITTE DER WELT“

Based on the 1998 novel of the same name ‘Center of My World‘ follows Phil – your average out-of-the-closet German High School student (it’s 2016 don’t forget!) who’s just survived a summer of French Language Camp and wants nothing more than to horse around with his best friend Kat and his sister/twin Dianne until school starts back up. But after arriving home he finds his house/mansion (dubbed ‘Visible’) in disarray. A huge storm trashed his town and Glass (Phil’s mom refuses to be called ‘Mom’) and Dianne aren’t speaking to each other. Normally this is where Phil would figure out what the heck is going on, but thennnnn…

„DIE MITTE DER WELT“

Yeah. This guy shows up on the first day of school. Hey you’d be incredibly distracted too! Thus Phil gets flung into a fling with the man-of-his-dreams (and the rest of ours…) named Nicolas. Nicolas is everything Phil wants, tall, gorgeous, muscular, outgoing, and most importantly: a top! But seriously these two guys have the most amazing chemistry together. I can’t remember the last time I watched a gay film where the leads seemed this flawlessly attractive. It’s mildly distracting sometimes. I’ve seen it three times and sometimes I just get lost in their eyes……. Damn I’m doing it again!

„DIE MITTE DER WELT“

The film doesn’t solely focus on the romantic angle the whole time and does circle back around to the family dynamic between Phil, Dianne, and Glass. There’s a lot of hurt in the family paired with an avoidance of truth especially on Glass’ part which makes for great cinema.

If you like the film (we think you’ll LOVE it) please tell your friends about it and let them know that Dekkoo is the only place to see it online. Next month it will also be available to own on DVD and Blu-ray.

Danke and good night!

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Watch it with: Everyone! Your friends, your neighbors, your mom!

Mix it with: Wine all around! Maybe a German Riesling perhaps?

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 036 – ‘BOYS’

Title – ‘Boys’

Director – Mischa Kamp

Starring – Gijs Blom, Ko Zandvliet, Jonah Smulders, Ton Kas

Release Date – 2014

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Monday of next week we’re releasing one of the sexiest gay romantic films of 2017, ‘Center of My World‘ almost a month before it hits DVD! To prepare you for the insane sexiness you’ll be checking out next week I thought a small appetizer would be a good idea to ‘whet’ your appetite.

original

Boys‘ is a captivating coming-of-age/romance from the Netherlands. Originally produced as a TV movie it was so well-made that the producers were able to expand its reach to theaters in the Netherlands and eventually it made it’s way to other countries as well. Could it be because of the two incredibly good looking leads? Gijs Blom & Ko Zandvliet are extremely magnetic by themselves, but together they present a vision of what young gay love really will look like in the future.

Jongens-AKA-Boys-2014-2

Sieger lives with his father and brother. It quick becomes apparent that Sieger is living with the recent grief of his mother. In order to tune out the tensions that exist between his motorcycle-obsessed brother getting into fights with his dad Sieger participates in track & field with his local high school. One day a new kid joins the team, Marc, which inspires a new array of feelings to confuse Sieger even further. Pretty soon afterwards they share their first kiss while swimming at the local lake. Marc seems confident in his attraction, but Sieger struggles to accept the relationship.

Making the film shine even brighter is brilliant cinematography and toe-tapping musical selections from M83, Foo Fighters, and Katy Perry!

I know the wait for ‘Center of My World‘ has felt like forever, but it’s almost here! Watch ‘Boys‘ to tie you over 😉

 

 

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Watch it with: A friend who loves romantic films

Mix it with: A glass of white wine

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 035 – ‘POPPORN’

Watch the gay series 'Popporn' on Dekkoo!

Title – ‘Popporn’

Director – Charlie David

Starring – Andrew Cheng, Conchita, Dwayne Wilson, Erin Burley

Release Date – 2017

 

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POPPORNNNNNN! Wowza it’s always awesome when something totally catches you off guard that you absolutely cannot stop watching. I had no idea this show existed and right when I get home tonight I’m going to binge as many as I can handle. It’s funny that this show came along right when I just started getting into watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 because it’s superrrr similar.

The basic gist of the series is that a bunch of comedians (including a character from Avenue Q [Lucy the Slut]) riff on some incredibly bad, cheesy, and stupid gay porn films with titles like ‘Stealth Fuckers’, ‘Freaky Friday’, and ‘He Can Do It Better’. It’s half in the style of MST3K and half ‘I Love the 80s/90s/etc’ where there’s animation (yes sadly they do censor the porn, but at least they use emojis!) and use of clever editing to great comedic effect.

The series comes from the mind of Charlie David, the prolific director, producer, and actor. If you want to catch up on his work here on Dekkoo we’ve gottttt: ‘Paternity Leave‘ ‘Mulligans‘ ‘I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay‘ ‘I’m a Porn Star‘ ‘More Scenes from a Gay Marriage‘ ‘I’m a Stripper Too!‘ ‘I’m a Stripped: American’s Most Wanted‘ ‘I’m a Stripper‘ ‘I’m a Stripper: Boylesque‘ ‘STUDlebrity‘ ‘I’m a Stripper: Digital Dancer

Whew! I told you he was prolific…

Anyway the show is broken up into 6 episodes that each touch on a specific subject: “Straight2Gay”, “Cockbusters”, “Fantasy”, “Money Talks”, “Daddy Issues”, & finally “Hard Criminals”. The comedians also score each porno at the end of every segment via the ‘Squirt-O-Meter’. Some of my favorite lines in the first episode:

“He looks like Jabba the Hut crossed with Roman Polanski”

Creepy guy with camera – “Why don’t you play with your shirt off?”
Hot dumb ‘straight’ guy playing Frisbee Golf – “I don’t see why not…”
CGWC – “Hey can I touch you?”
HDSGPFS – “I don’t see why not…”

“You call that choking?? Maybe she doesn’t want to have sex with you BECAUSE YOU’RE BAD AT IT!”

If you’ve got got even a slight sense of humor, hunker down with some friends tonight and ‘get off’ to ‘Popporn‘!

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Watch ’em with: As many gays as you can fit in a room!

Mix it with: Lots of alcohol, lots of weed

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 034 – ‘STAY’ AND ‘FOUR’

Title – ‘Four

Director – Joshua Sanchez

Starring – Wendell Pierce, Emory Cohen, Aja Naomi King, E.J. Bonilla

Release Date – 2012

Title – ‘Stay

Director – Brandon Zuck

Starring – Brandon Tyler Harris, Julian Brand, Zach Vinci

Release Date – 2013

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Happy September everyone. I doubt many of you have children, but if you do I hope you’re very much enjoying having them off of your hands and back in school! And if you’re still in school then I’m so very sorry. Maybe these two films will cheer you up!

We’ve brought you two short films now from Brandon Zuck (‘The Happy Ones‘ ‘Goodbye Blue Sky‘) and this one is my favorite so far. ‘Stay‘ is an intimate drama (with a hint of action that we’ve become used to with Zuck’s work) taking place in the Florida keys (having the convertible top down while it’s raining is soooo Florida) concerning friendship, drugs, and intimacy issues. Ash tries and tricks his ex-boyfriend (Jacks) into joining him for a road trip that’s actually a drug deal. Once Jacks finds out he’s infuriated and only calms down when there’s an offer of money (sigh. typical dude-bro). The rest of the film is spent with discussions about their relationship – a lot of which feels very honest and heartwarming. After researching the film a bit more I found out that Brandon Zuck is attempting to make it into a feature film – very cool!

Continuing on with the theme of character-studies our featured feature film of the week is ‘Four‘ – a heartfelt drama about 4 people living their lives and trying to figure out how love works. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and took home an ensemble acting award for all 4 actors. For a tight 75-minute film it’s an incredibly honest piece of work and one definitely worth watching.

June – A young man struggling with his homosexuality who turns to anonymous online dating sites to find some kind of happiness.
Joe – A hardworking family man. Everyone he knows would describe him as honest, happy, and smart, but he hides his homosexuality from everyone and seems disgusted with gay men that aren’t him or those he holds in his favor.
Abigayle – Joe’s daughter who has to take care of her ill mother when her father is ‘away on business’.
Dexter – Half bad boy / half poet who wants to find love. A bit of a slacker, but charming nonetheless.

Over the course of one night these characters talk, kiss, scream, cry, and try to interpret the world around them. The most interesting plot line is definitely June & Joe who’s interactions sometimes feel like spoken-word poetry. Joe’s outgoing nature is the perfect compliment to June’s shy bordering on mute personality. I do wish the movie went a little further in its investigation of Joe’s family. There’s an easy 10 minutes that could have been added to it, but my guess is that the filmmaker wants us to understand how secrets can congeal in a nuclear family and remain undisclosed. Regardless this is a very moving film that I think you’ll all very much fall in love with.

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Watch ’em with: You and yourself

Mix it with: A drink that reminds you of your first love

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