DEKKOO DISPATCH 068 – ‘ANOTHER GAY SEQUEL’

Title – ‘Another Gay Sequel

Director – Todd Stephens

Starring – Jonah Blechman, Jake Mosser, Jimmy Clabots, Aaron Michael Davies

Release Date – 2008

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In the spirit of the Avengers sequel (times 5!?!) coming out this weekend I wanted to touch on a sequel the gay community was graced with back in 2008. ‘Another Gay Sequel’ is the follow-up to the 2006 smash success ‘Another Gay Movie‘ which I profiled way back in Dekkoo Dispatch #20. I’m a big Todd Stephens fan so it was really incredible to hear that he was heading up the sequel. Too many times sequels are usually handed to someone else with the original director either uninterested in the project or just excited to move onto a fresh story. But Todd was eager to thrust us back into the lives of Andy, Nico, Griff, and Jarrod.

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We last left our awkward protagonists in a state of pure orgasmic bliss. They’d just fulfilled a group promise to all lose their virginity over the course of a summer after high school graduation. Griff and Jarrod became boyfriends, Nico found an older daddy, and Andy ended up getting double penetrated by Griff and Jarrod’s ex-dates. Not bad for first times! The sequel starts with a ‘gag’ dream where Griff, Jarrod, and Andy all ‘die’ horrible lubed up deaths. Nico wakes with a start in a his bed and realizes it was all a dream… or was it? Because in fact we quickly realize that the actors that played the three hunky guys in the original look a little… different. Welcome to an industry where agents tell their actors that, “if you play two gay movies in a row people might think you’re actually gay”. Nico writes off the change of actors as a good thing, “Actually, they’re a lot cuter than I remember” and everyone immediately gets excited about SPRING BREAK IN FORT LAUDERDALE!!!!

That’s the focus of our gay sequel folks. A rowdy, dirty, and wild trip to sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during spring break where the boys are shirtless all the time and the drinks flow until daybreak. Just like the original our sequel packs in the antics AND the cameos. We’ve got RuPaul, Perez Hilton, Lady Bunny, Brent Corrigan, Amanda Lepore, Colton Ford, Jim Verraros, & Michael Lucas just to name a fair few! The boys first stop after their ‘Snakes on a Plane’ moment on TransAmerica airlines is their adorable retro hotel filled with fellow gays on spring break. There they meet RuPaul or as she’s known in the film, Tyrell Tyrelle, who lets it be known that they’ve stumbled upon a grand event simply known as ‘Gays Gone Wild!’. The objective of the game is to rack up as many ‘fuckstamps’ as possible during the week by, ya know, fucking. Unfortunately there are complications. For one Griff & Jarrod as a couple have to figure out if they can participate, also there’s the Jaspers. The three Jaspers (Jasper and his two cronies: Jasper Chan and Jasper Pledge) are the reigning champions of the competition and won’t give up their title so easily.

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Andy, who now brags about his sluttiness with gusto, gets to work almost immediately on collecting his fuckstamps. Nico on the other hand runs into an ‘unlucky tiki’ and thus is out of the game so to speak. Griff & Jarrod start to experiment with being in an open relationship which causes frictions within the group, but also creates an opening for a fantastic 3way cameo with Colton Ford. Sooo funny! Other fun problems include Perez Hilton running around the place trying to convince people to NOT have sex (he was hit over the head with a buttplug) and Andy’ dad (played by the incomparable Scott Thompson) trying to keep up with the boys in the competition. The whole movie is a hoot and while it might not be quite as fantastic as the first which was hilarious and compassionate in equal measures it still does an admirable job at making you laugh and squirm in equal measures. And the hot naked guys are an added plus for sure!

 

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Watch it with: All of your gay friends!

Mix it with: Mimosas, Martinis, whatever it takes!

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New This Week – 4/6/18

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Ian McKellen delivers an award-winning performance as Hollywood horror director James Whale. It’s 1957, and Whale’s heyday as the director of ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ and ‘The Invisible Man’ is long behind him. Retired and a semi-recluse, he lives his days accompanied only by images from his past. When a handsome young gardener (played by the beautiful Brendan Fraser) enters the picture, the pair develop an unlikely friendship. Watch ‘Gods And Monster’ now on Dekkoo!

This is the art for the gay short film, 'Turn It Around'

When the fifteen year old Bram meets Florian at a house party, he immediately falls for him. There’s only one problem: nobody knows Bram is gay. Watch ‘Turn It Around’ now on Dekkoo!

This is the art for the gay movie, 'Finding Neighbors'

A successful stay-at-home graphic novelist, has hit a mid-life and creative crisis. When his wife begins to suspect an affair she is surprised to learn he’s spending all of his time with his gay neighbor. ‘Finding Neighbors’ is now available to stream on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: A gay story from Sri Lanka, where being gay is illegal.

DEKKOO DISPATCH 065 – ‘GODS AND MONSTERS’

Title – ‘Gods and Monsters

Director – Bill Condon

Starring – Sir Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich

Release Date – 1998

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“To a new world of gods and monsters!” 
— Dr. Pretorius to Dr. Frankenstein in ‘Bride of Frankenstein’

We’ve got a wonderful treat for you this week on Dekkoo! The Academy Award winning film ‘Gods and Monsters‘ by Bill Condon! Released theatrically in 1998 it went to on win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for two other categories – Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The script for the film was based on a biography of famous director James Whale called ‘Father of Frankenstein’ by Christopher Bram. Before we jump into talking about the movie I think it’s important to talk about the background of our protagonist: James Whale.

James-Whale A quick background on the real James Whale:
While James Whale directed nearly 20 films by now only a few have survived the test of time. Most notable among those are ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Bride of Frankenstein’, ‘The Invisible Man’, and ‘The Old Dark House’. Born in 1889 Whale was one of seven children and had to stop attending school in his teens because of money issues in the family. He started as a cobbler and ended up using his blossoming artistic abilities to paint signs for neighbors. When World War I broke out in 1914 he decided to enlist in the army and avoid the draft that he knew was inevitable. In 1917 he was captured in Flanders and remained imprisoned for more than a year. During that time he used his creative talents to amuse and entertain his fellow soldiers with amateur productions. After the war he spent his time trying to sell cartoons before eventually finding his calling directing plays which he did from 1922 to 1929. After the success of various productions he ventured to Hollywood where producers were looking for directors that had experience with dialog since Hollywood was going through a transition from silent films to talking films. He started off at Paramount Pictures and eventually made his way to Universal Pictures where he met Carl Laemmle, Jr. who offered him the chance to direct any property the studio owned. He chose Frankenstein.

The movie takes place in the 50s – long after the glory days of ‘Frankenstein’. In the 50s James had settled into his Pacific Palisades abode and had used the pool to his advantage; throwing pool parties where large groups of young men fooled around with each other while he watched. After having a small stroke in 1956 he became more withdrawn and hardly left the house. Enter Clayton (played by Brenden Fraser) – the new beefcake gardener. Some have noted that his tall lanky appearance is similar to that of the monster from ‘Frankenstein’. James takes an immediate liking to him and invites him to pose for some sketches. During these sessions they get to know each other and quickly become friends. There are some speed bumps though mostly owing to Whale’s tendency to lapse into memories about parties, sex, and boys which makes Clayton wildly uncomfortable. Watching from the sidelines during this tentative courtship/friendship is Hanna (played by Lynn Redgrave and nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars), his loyal housemaid who clearly disapproves of his homosexuality and tries to place herself in the middle of anything she deems suspicious.

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The film oscillates between these sketching sessions, memories from Whales’ childhood and later career, some interactions with fan, (‘take off your clothes and I’ll tell you everything’) and a past lover. Bringing the fun down a notch is Whales’ medical conditions – his strokes have left him severely ill and he toys with the idea of suicide. Ian McKellen is absolutely wonderful in the role of James Whale. He inhabits the playful, sexual, tormented, and reminiscent mind with the skill someone only of someone his caliber can deliver. He truly delivers a performance worthy of winning Best Actor at the Oscars, but sadly he was only nominated for it. The film is also a wonderful accomplishment for Bill Condon who later went on to direct ‘Kinsey’ and ‘Dreamgirls’ along with a host of other more mainstream fare like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn’. It’s a film that will stay with you long after the closing credits. A beautiful swan song to creativity and a life lived honestly.

 

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Watch it with: A group of your creative friends.

Mix it with: Champagne.

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 058 – ‘WILD REEDS’

Title – ‘Wild Reeds

Director – André Téchiné

Starring – Élodie Bouchez, Gaël Morel, Stéphane Rideau, Frédéric Gorny

Release Date – 1994

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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.

Senses of Cinema had this to say about the title of the film:

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’.

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Watch it with: With your French film-loving friends.

Mix it with: A French red wine of course!

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New This Week – 2/9/18

This is the art for the gay film, 'Wild Reeds'

This acclaimed 1994 romantic drama from maverick queer filmmaker André Téchiné takes place in takes place at the tail end of the Algerian War in 1962 and follows French 18-year-olds Maite and Francois during their sexual and emotional coming-of-age. ‘Wild Reeds’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!

This is the art for the gay film, 'The Man of My Life'

While on holiday at his family’s home in Provence, Frédéric’s seemingly perfect family life is disrupted when he meets his neighbor, a gay graphic artist named Hugo. Watch ‘The Man of My Life’ on Dekkoo!

This is the art for the gay short film, 'Demons'

Matt is a closeted serial killer on the hunt for love and acceptance in a pretty messed up world. Watch Demons, now streaming on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: The Nordic summer is all about getting screwed!

DEKKOO DISPATCH 056 – ‘L’HOMME BLESSÉ’

Title – ‘L’Homme Blessé

Director – Patrice Chéreau

Starring – Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Roland Bertin, Claude Berri

Release Date – 1983

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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’.

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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.

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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!

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Watch it with: By yourself or with a dark lover.

Mix it with: French wine.

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New This Week – 1/26/18

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In season 2 of the acclaimed Dekkoo-original series, Nate decides it’s time to move on from his breakup with Joey…but Nate’s fall-out with his best friend Jeff continues to loom. Meanwhile, Nicole is back in town on the hunt for a new career move, Andy takes control of his open relationship with Brian, and Jeff finds companionship in someone new. Turns out they might be the ones who are fine after all, while Nate still only claims to be. Watch season 2 of ‘I’m Fine’ only on Dekkoo!

This is an image from the gay movie, l'Homme Blesse

In this award-winning erotic 1983 classic from acclaimed French director Patrice Chéreau, a young man discovers his homosexuality and begins a relationship with a manipulative hustler and petty criminal that he meets at the train station. Watch ‘L’Homme Blesse’ on Dekkoo.com!

This is an image from the gay short film 'Midnight'

A gay couple decide to experiment with an open relationship but can their relationship survive it? Watch the gay short film ‘Midnight’ now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: A heartfelt look at the meaning of love.