Seventeen-year-old Miku is trying to come to terms with his sexuality and find his place in the world. After his parents find out he threw a wild party while they were away, he is to spend the summer with them at their cottage. A flirtation soon develops with Elias, the boy next door. As they spend the summer escaping their dysfunctional families, a relationship quickly blossoms. But they soon realize that love is not as easy as it seems. ‘Screwed’ is available now, exclusively on Dekkoo.com – one month before DVD!
Ah the French… While we’re partying it up and watching TV they’re contemplating life and reading philosophy – or at least that’s what they want us to think! Either way the French make some great movies especially dealing with teenage angst which is the subject of today’s dispatch! Enter the world of André Téchiné’s ‘Wild Reeds‘ (Les Roseaux Sauvages). It was hailed as an instant classic when it came out in France in ’94 and even beat out ‘Queen Margot’ (by Patrice Chéreau [‘L’homme Blesse‘]) for the César award (the equivalent of our Oscar). We’re showcasing a new HD Restoration that will blow your socks off!
‘Wild Reeds‘ tells the story of four teenagers making the transition from childhood in the era of the late days of the Algerian War which took place from 1954-1962. The movie focuses the most on Francois who’s discovering his budding attraction to men. Conveniently he becomes friends with the sexy Serge who is open to ‘experimenting’ with Francois, but nothing more beyond that. Of course that frustrates Francois who feels a real attraction to Serge to which he confides in his best friend Maite, the daughter of their teacher with communist leanings (Madame Alvarez). The film starts with a joyous wedding with Serge’s older brother confiding in Alvarez that he’s heard communists might be able to smuggle him out of the war. When she refuses to help he’s forced to head back to the war where he tragically dies. This sets in motion a series of events that bring the 3 adolescents together to figure out the next steps their life will take.
The title Wild Reeds (Les roseaux sauvages) echoes a poetic fable by Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695): “The Oak and the Reed”. Boasting of his strength, the proud oak tree offers to shelter the frail reed. But the reed rejects the oak and, when a storm blows, the reed bends with the wind and survives, while the oak is torn up by its roots. In concert with this, all of Wild Reeds’ adolescent characters need to learn to bend from their initial, inflexible positions and accept the ambiguities inherent in adulthood.
There are so many reasons to watch this film!! Besides the fact that you’ll get to witness the birth of the modern French coming-of-age film there’s a wealth of talent involved in this film that went on to make lots more amazing movies (a bunch of which you’ve probably seen!).
André Téchiné – The director of countless amazing French films. He’s directed some of the best queer films of all time including ‘Being 17’ and ‘The Witnesses’. Gaël Morel – The lead of ‘Wild Reeds‘ attained much critical acclaim for his portrayal of Francois, but his passion rested in being behind the camera and just two years later directed the popular film ‘Full Speed’ in which he cast his co-star from ‘Wild Reeds’ Stéphane Rideau! He also directed the steamy gay thriller ‘Our Paradise’. Stéphane Rideau – Stéphane went on to become a prolific actor in his own right starring in the subversive comedy ‘Sitcom’ by Francois Ozon and the popular gay romance movie ‘Come Undone’ by Sebastian Lifshitz. Jacques Nolot – A very famous French actor, he later went on to write and direct the classic queer films ‘Porn Theatre’ and ‘Before I Forget’.
Watch it with: With your French film-loving friends.
Starring – Mikko Kauppila, Valtteri Lehtinen, Sanna Majuri, Sami Huhtala
Release Date – 2017
Next week we’re bringing you a gay title direct from the biggest gay film festivals right into your living rooms! On February 15th get ready to be ‘Screwed’…
If the film sounds familiar that’s because right after Frameline (the oldest queer film festival in the world!) we here at Dekkoo made headlines by acquiring the film just for all of you right out of the jam-packed world premiere. We were so impressed by this audacious and sexy coming-of-age film that we just had to immediately grab it and make sure you all were the first to see it. That’s why it will be exclusively available on Dekkoo for a whole month before it hits DVD.
‘Screwed’ comes to us from the mind of Nils-Erik Ekblom – a filmmaker who decided to explore the life of a fairly normal gay teenager in Finland and what happens when he comes face to face with desires he decides he doesn’t want to run from. In interviews Nils has explained that he feels gay people aren’t portrayed authentically in Finnish cinema and that for years they’ve been the butt of jokes. He desired to create an accurate portrait of queer life here and now in Finnish culture. Indeed if you look up Finnish gay films you won’t find much of anything sadly. Now we know why ‘Tom of Finland’ wanted to come to California 🙂
Alright enough of the back-story! Let’s talk about the boys! Meet our cute main character – 17-year-old Miku. Jesus that name is adorable… Miku’s life is very static – you can absolutely tell something needs to change and this is the year that he takes some chances in life. A good way to start is by throwing a house party and losing his virginity his weird older brothers advises him. Thus Miku throws said party and thus his parent’s house nearly gets demolished in the teenage debauchery that ensues. Of course it’s bad enough to feel the wrath of his parents in general, but it’s even worse because they go on summer vacation immediately afterwards and he’s stuck in a small cabin with them!
Luckily there’s a surprise just down the river bend… No I’m not kidding. Literally a hot next door neighbor named Elias rows down the river and comes to introduce himself to Miku’s family. Once Elias sees Miku he’s very taken whereas Miku looks like he wants to run away as far as possible from the feelings that are coursing through him. It’s like watching someone in fight-or-flight mode. After the two finally start talking and taking little adventures in the countryside together it’s clear that they’re both in for a large dose of first love – with all the wonderful earth-shaking feelings it can produce. Of course ‘Screwed’ doesn’t just focus on the gay angle of life, it also rounds it out with sibling trouble, rocky marriages, and general family drama.
We’re incredibly thrilled to bring you this sexy, amazingly gorgeous film directly to you first before anyone else. We hope you love it as much as us!
Seventeen year old Miku is trying to come to terms with his sexuality and find his place in the world. After his parents find out he threw a wild party while they were away, he is forced to spend the summer with them at their cottage. A flirtation soon develops with Elias, the boy next door. As they spend the summer escaping their dysfunctional families, a relationship quickly blossoms. But they soon realize that love is not as easy as it seems.
‘Screwed’ is a distinctly sensual, beautifully shot, and sensitively acted drama that arrives exclusively on Dekkoo February 15 – one month before DVD!
Starring – Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Roland Bertin, Claude Berri
Release Date – 1983
RARE CINEMA ALERT!! RARE CINEMA ALERT!!
Wow I can’t believe the boys at Dekkoo managed to pull this one off. ‘L’Homme Blessé‘ aka ‘The Wounded Man’ is an extremely rare piece of older queer cinema that has been completely unavailable in the U.S. besides a VHS from ’97! And it’s a crying shame because this is a bonkers gay-as-hell film from one of France’s most famous directors; Patrice Chéreau. While famous in France for his theatrical productions, he was famous abroad for movies like Palme D’or Winner ‘Queen Margot’, ‘Intimacy’, and ‘His Brother’.
‘L’Homme Blessé‘ was made in 1983 by Chéreau after working on a script for 6 years with his writing partner Hervé Guibert. In it the pair explore a young man’s awakening to intense homosexual desires that blossom into masochismic longings for one man in particular – Jean – an enigmatic hustler who prowls train stations looking for weak homosexuals he can bully into giving up their wallets. Yup folks – this is not a feel good movie where you’ll feel safe and secure. It doesn’t support the illusion that being gay is all rainbows and unicorns. But I like that sometimes! It’s important to realize how tough it used to be back in the day to be queer (and honestly that still holds in many places). Plus bisexual rough trade is definitely kinda hot sometimes 😉
Jean-Hughes Anglade (before making his star turning role in ‘Betty Blue’) plays the shy young Henri who visits the train station with his family. While there we begin to see his first tries at ‘cruising’ – obviously something that train station must be very well known for. In a bathroom he stares wide-eyed at Jean – a spectacularly handsome rugged man in his 30s and after re-entering the bathroom finds Jean mugging someone. While trying to run away from the situation Jean catches him and instead of beating him up begins wildly caressing him and urging Henri to help him finish mugging his victim. It’s one of the sexiest criminal queer scenes that exists.
Afterwards Henri becomes something akin to a slave to Jean. He follows him around, does his bidding, and becomes increasingly annoyed at Jean’s indifference towards him. Of course Jean isn’t completely gay and has a wife which complicates things to be sure. His wife tolerates Jean’s bisexual leanings and criminal lifestyle, but isn’t happy about it. The closest comparison I can draw to this film that exists in the Dekkoo catalog would be ‘Fogi is a Bastard‘. It shares a lot of ideas such as the corruption of innocence, dependency issues, and crime begetting crime. But I think Chéreau’s film delves a little deeper into the darkness of the human soul which I think is why the film divides so many audiences.
Besides being able to brag to your friends that you saw one of the most hard-to-find pieces of queer cinema you’ll also experience one of the most heartbreaking, outrageous, and melancholic films in Patrice Chéreau’s filmography. Cruise it tonight!
Starring – Brad Renfro, Nick Stahl, Bijou Phillips, Michael Pitt
Release Date – 2001
Oh Larry Clark. What a strange and unusual artist. In the late 90s his name was synonymous with the new wave of transgressive cinema coming out of Sundance from the likes of Gregg Araki and Bruce LaBruce. His subject matter is primarily troubled youth coping with the boring, sad world around them – usually through drugs and sex. On Dekkoo we’ve made one of Clark’s classic films – ‘Bully‘ available for your voyeuristic pleasure.
Before I tackle ‘Bully’ today I want to talk a bit more about Larry Clark. The preface of his now legendary first book of photography ‘Tulsa’ reveals a lot about Larry:
i was born in tulsa oklahoma in 1943. when i was sixteen i started shooting amphetamine. i shot with my friends everyday for three years and then left town but i’ve gone back through the years. once the needle goes in it never comes out. L.C.
We’re clearly dealing with an artist who spent a great deal of time living in a world that he know he’ll never actually escape from so he instead decided to explore his own world deeper through photography and expose it to the world. ‘Tulsa’ caused a big stir when it came out in 1971. Many viewers were shocked by the world contained within – a world of junkies, teenage sex, and violence. Obviously people responded to the work (Gus Van Sant & Martin Scorsese have cited ‘Tulsa’ as an influence on their work) and he was able to follow up ‘Tulsa’ with ‘Teenage Lust’ in 1983 – building on his world of drugs and isolation.
In 1993 Larry Clark saw a young Harmony Korine skating with his friends in Washington Square Park, took a few photos, and then after finding out he was an aspiring filmmaker asked him to write a script about skaters and include a plotline about AIDS. Harmony was thrilled and eagerly wrote the script ‘Kids’ which then premiered in 1995 at the Cannes Film Festival. Chronicling the life of a group of NYC wayward youth, one of whom was unknowingly infecting girls with HIV generated massive controversy just like ‘Tulsa’. Due to it’s NC-17 rating it didn’t earn much money at the box office, but it certainly cemented the careers of both Harmony (who went on to direct ‘Gummo’ and ‘Mister Lonely’) and Larry Clark. After ‘Kids’ Larry Clark directed three movies in a span of nine months! Those films turned out to become ‘Bully’, ‘Ken Park’ (still unreleased in the U.S. to this day!), and ‘Teenage Caveman’ (a silly movie that’s worth watching if you’re into B-grade schlock).
‘Bully‘ takes place in Hollywood. Hollywood, Florida that is. There’s definitely no glitz and glam here. Take it from me. I’ve been there. Many times. Don’t go there. Buttt it’s the perfect setting for a Larry Clark movie. It’s full of disaffected youth dying to escape the heat and move to the real Hollywood to make it big. ‘Bully‘ starts out innocently enough with horny teenagers just trying to get laid. But soon we come to realize that we’re witnessing a microcosm of sexual and interpersonal dependency between the main characters of Bobby and Marty. Bobby constantly has Marty in an iron grip of dominance that Marty simply can’t escape from. He might even like it a bit. But eventually the abuse becomes too much and Marty’s girlfriend convinces him that the only way the abuse will end is if they kill Bobby.
Wow – what a crazy-ass movie. I remember watching this in high school and enjoying it, but I definitely did not pick up on how freaking homo this film was. And hot. Bobby is basically Marty’s pimp. He makes him have gay sex over the phone for cash AND forces him on stage to strip at a gay bar. Also there’s a fantastic scene where Bobby literally accuses Marty of being gay, “Don’t lie to me boy I know you like dick”. Messages are mixed in the film as to whether or not they’re actually gay (for other guys. I mean Marty does have an Eminem poster in his bedroom…), but I do think they’re at least gay for each other.
The film is loosely based on a real crime that took place in 1993 – the murder of Bobby Kent by a group of kids hereafter known as The Broward County Seven. Comprising the ‘seven’ are a number of awesome cameos. Most surprising was the fantastic performance by Daniel Franzese (‘Mean Girls’) as a fat drug-taking Mortal Kombat addicted teenager (FATALITY!!). It’s also great to see Michael Pitt (pre-‘Hedwig’) as a complete brain-dead drug addict who can’t make any decisions in life without a tab of acid taking the wheel.
This film is totally bizarre, hot, ridiculous, and disturbing which really adds up to fun-ass time. Watch it tonight!
Watch it with: Your trouble-making friends.
Mix it with: The traditional bad-ass high school dropout drink: Jack & Coke
Starring – Perry Powell, Lee Doud, Shaughn Buchholz, Brittney King
Release Date – 2018
THEY’REEE BACK! Well almost anyway…
Nate, Jeff, Andy, Brian, and Nicole: They’re all back and ready for more life lessons and queer hijinks in ‘I’m Fine’ Season 2! It premieres January 25th and today you can finally see the full season 2 trailer here. And here! and heeereeee.
Season 2 picks up right where the last one left off with our titular hero/anti-hero Nate finally getting over his relationship with Joey, but still figuring out his delicate friendship with Jeff. The rest of his friends are each figuring out life in LA – job hunting, open relationships, and of course – sex.
I asked the director what viewers should look forward to in season 2:
They should be excited to get to know the incredible cast of supporting characters who orbit Nate – we get a more in depth look at their friendships. Oh, and there is some fresh eye candy, too. 🙂
‘I’m Fine’ Season 2 premieres January 25th exclusively on Dekkoo! Catch up on Season 1 here.