Now Available: Marionette Land

Robert Brock, the artistic director and founder of the Lancaster Marionette Theatre in Pennsylvania, lives above the space with his mother, Mary Lou.

Together the pair have been keeping this Lancaster treasure going for thirty years with unique takes on classic marionette shows for families (including Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and Aladdin) and cabaret-style grown-up shows which feature Brock performing as Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler and other divas.

Each puppet has not only been handcrafted by Brock himself, but also acts as a window into the personality that has passionately driven this fading form of entertainment.

Offbeat and endlessly endearing, the new documentary Marionette Land follows Brock and his mother as they go about their daily business… until COVID-19 threatens to drop the curtains for good. As the thirty year anniversary approaches and attendance dwindles, Robert begins to reflect upon his life dedicated to entertaining others while sacrificing his own personal needs. Though the stage gave him confidence to become and accept his true self, it also left him without a partner to share the spotlight with.

From director Alexander Monelli (the filmmaker behind the acclaimed doc At the Drive-In), Marionette Land intimately captures a deeply gifted artist as a personal and professional crossroad.

Watch the trailer for Marionette Land below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Two cellmates fall in love under harsh circumstances in the romantic prison drama Luz

From Jon Garcia, the writer-director behind The Falls, Luz is a romantic drama about two men who fall in love while serving time in prison.

Ruben (Ernesto Reyes) has a job driving for his Mafia-connected cousin. When he gets into a car accident with one of his cousin’s “girls,” killing her, he is sentenced to prison. Carlos (Jesse Tayeh) becomes his cellmate, his mentor and eventually his lover. The two men end up developing major feelings for one another.

Carlos is released from prison before Ruben and goes back to his life running an auto repair shop, and living with his mother and his girlfriend. A couple years later, Ruben is also released and tracks him down. Carlos’ girlfriend sees what is beginning to happen between the two men and leaves.

Now Ruben and Carlos are left to figure out if what they had in prison was real, or just two people finding comfort during a difficult situation. In the end, they must decide whether they want to be move forward together and take a real shot at love on the outside.

Watch the trailer for Luz below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Short Film Spotlight: The Uninhabitable Ones

The Uninhabitable Ones, a new twenty-five-minute short film from director Anderson Bardot, follows a contemporary dance company in Brazil as they are about to debut their latest show.

Inabitáveis, their newest performance, addresses black homosexuality as its theme. Running parallel to the rehearsals, the choreographer builds a friendship with Pedro, a black boy who doesn’t identify as a boy at all.

A poetic wildness of transgressive queers, of impressionist colors, of bodies that celebrate their black and latinx existences, The Uninhabitable Ones offers up a thoughtful, visually inventive and deeply moving feast for the eyes.

The Uninhabitable Ones is the kind of movie I’d like to see on a movie screen,” said director Anderson Bardot. “A show that inaugurates the theme of black sexuality on the theater stages in the state of Espirito Santo, but more than that, a movie that overflowed the stage and made of it its own true space of emancipation – art as a tool to promote life.”

Watch the trailer for The Uninhabitable Ones below. The short film is now streaming on Dekkoo.

Straight-Jacket is a sexy and funny pastiche of closeted 1950s Hollywood

Originally released in 2004, Straight-Jacket is a colorful gay comedy written and directed by Richard Day, based on his own stage play of the same name.

Set in the 1950s, the film revolves around Hollywood heartthrob Guy Stone. Played by cutie-pie Matt Letscher, the character can easily be read as a not-so-veiled stand-in for Rock Hudson. A wildly popular leading man, the public loves to gossip about Guy’s romantic conquests, but the young actor has a secret. While he’s been involved in an abundance of flings, none of them have been with women.

Looking to get the press and public to stop speculating about his bachelorhood, Guy’s agent Jerry (Veronica Cartwright) convinces him to marry the unassuming Sally (Carrie Preston). However, soon after the wedding, Guy develops major feeling for an attractive young writer named Rick (Adam Greer), leading to an uncomfortable love triangle that could ruin the reputations of everyone involved.

Presented as a pastiche of Rock Hudson-Doris Day romantic comedies, Straight-Jacket is a charming and sexy romp through a different time in Hollywood history.

Watch the original trailer for Straight-Jacket below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Short Film Spotlight: Skogen

A twenty-minute short film from prolific Norwegian director Magnus Mork, Skogen features a middle-aged couple who are camping together in the forest.

At first glance, Bjorn (Odd Johan Fritzøe) seems much more accustomed to these settings than his partner Lars (Gisle Kverndokk), but over the course of their trip, they both find themselves greatly influenced by the natural surroundings.

Within their tend, they discuss life’s questions, both big and small, and find new levels to their relationship. Soon, Lars decides he may not want to leave and return to their old way of life.

Featuring two newcomers who give truthful, naturalistic performances, Skogen is a smart, observant slice-of-life drama that bears witness to a long-term relationship between two mature men and examines how sometimes the things not being said are more weighty and meaningful than the things we’re willing to say out loud.

Watch a short trailer for Skogen below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Watch five award-winning coming-of-age short films in the new Through a Boy’s Eyes collection

When a boy becomes a young man, the way he sees the world can change – not just his perceptions of those around him, but how others see him as well. As burgeoning desires come to the surface, he has the choice of either embracing and acting upon them, or burying them.

In Through a Boy’s Eyes, a selection of award-winning short films, different directors examine the struggles and celebrations seen through the eyes of boys not only becoming men, but becoming attracted to them. This new collection includes…

On the Roof
It’s summer time and Adrián and his friends spend almost every afternoon climbing onto a rooftop to spy a girl who sunbathes naked. But this afternoon won’t be like the others. Today they’ll realize that one of them is more interested in the guy showering in a close-by building.

The Son
Pedro is a 17-year-old at the tail end of high school. The thing he loves most in the world are his mother’s baked beans. He hasn’t tried each one, but there is no need. Pedro knows what he likes. His father, however, doesn’t feel the same way.

Inside
Juan is a seductive and cold man who easily attracts women. But his mind is immersed in a spiral of emotions and experiences that will force him to discover who he truly is and find his real identity, suppressed by his father’s strong conservative education.

Tomboy
10-year-old Chloe plays soccer, spits, never cries and can’t stand other girls – the so-called “cry-babies.” One day, Marie, a pretty and perky blonde girl, takes part for the first time in the games Chloe plays with the boys. Her femininity unsettles Chloe’s self-confidence and the balance of their small group of children.

Paradigma
Innocence, sex and lust converge to tell the story of Guille, a teen who seeks himself through the eyes of others.

All five short films are available now on Dekkoo in the Through a Boy’s Eyes collection. Watch the official trailer below.

Now Available: Monster Pies

Does anyone ever forget the time they felt the incredible force of first love?

When Mike (Tristan Barr) learns that his English teacher is pairing him up for a class assignment on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ William (Lucas Linehan), the super-cute new kids on school, Mike can’t believe his luck!

As the two young men spend more and more time working together on a monster movie version of the Bard’s classic tale, they soon realize that their feelings for one another may be more powerful than either of them is truly ready for.

From Australian writer-director Lee Galea, who based his screenplay on a short story he has written when he was 15 years old and deep into the themes of the movie on a personal level, Monster Pies is a touching and original take on the all encompassing power of teen love – one that is sure to move even the hardest of hearts.

The film was originally released back in 2013 (almost ten years ago!) when it earned awards – and a whole lot of tears – at film festivals all around the globe.

Watch the trailer for Monster Pies below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Don’t miss the gripping, layered and beautifully honest award-winning drama José

Winner of multiple awards, including the Queer Lion from the 75th Annual Venice Film Festival, José is a gripping, layered and beautifully honest story about one working class young man’s struggle to find himself. Made in the neorealist filmmaking tradition, the film delivers a nuanced and vivid look at being gay in Central America.

José (played by magnetic newcomer Enrique Salanic) lives with his mother (Ana Cecilia Mota) in Guatemala City, where they survive on her selling sandwiches at bus stops and with him working at a local restaurant. It is a poor and sometimes dangerous country where, dominated by conservative Catholic and Evangelical Christian religion, living one’s life as an openly gay man is hard for José to imagine.

His mother has never had a husband. And though José is at the edge of manhood at 19-years old, he is her youngest and favorite child and she is determined to hold on to him.

Reserved and private, José fills his free moments playing with his phone and random sex with other men arranged on street corners and dating apps. When he meets attractive and gentle Luis (Manolo Herrera), a migrant from the rural Caribbean coast, they pursue an unexpected relationship with more emotion than José has ever felt. He is quickly thrust into new passion, pain and self-reflection that push him to rethink his life even as he is reluctant to take a leap of faith.

Watch the trailer for José below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Xavier Dolan’s sensational feature debut I Killed My Mother hits Dekkoo

Released in 2009, I Killed My Mother was the semi-autobiographical debut feature film by then 20-year-old Xavier Dolan – who quickly became a breakthrough star director on the international film scene.

Focusing on the relationship between Hubert Minel (Dolan), a 16-year-old Quebecois living in suburban Montreal, and his single mother Chantale (Anne Dorval), I Killed My Mother beautifully captures the anxieties of a mother-son relationship.

While he gauges her with contempt, only seeing her out-of-date sweater and kitschy decor, the ingrained mechanisms (i.e. manipulation and guilt) of their relationship beautifully (and tragically) unravel on the big screen.

After the film’s debut, I Killed My Mother was nominated for dozens of film festival awards all over the globe and quickly became a sensation. Dolan has gone on to make many more features, often with major Hollywood stars. He has also had some other big acting opportunities in films like Bad Times at the El Royale and It: Chapter Two.

Watch the trailer for I Killed My Mother below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Now Available: Parallel Sons

A gay indie classic and film festival favorite from 1995, Parallel Sons follows the relationship that develops between a white teen who identifies as black and a young black man who has been wounded while escaping prison.

Seth (Gabriel Mann) is a youth with artistic leanings, a fascination with Black pop culture and a dead-end life in an Adirondack village. He’s alternatively sensitive and brutal with Kristen (Heather Gottlieb), who wants a sexual relationship that he explosively rejects.

Late one night, as he’s closing the cafe where he works, a young Black man attempts to rob him at gun point but faints from illness. Seth takes the man, Knowledge (Laurence Mason), an escapee from a nearby prison, to a family cabin where he nurses him and they begin a tentative friendship. When the sheriff learns of Seth’s harboring a fugitive, a major confrontation looms.

Watch the original trailer for Parallel Sons below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.