Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1573-1610) was the last, perhaps the greatest, and certainly the most controversial painter of the Italian Renaissance. The late great Derek Jarman’s stylishly bold tribute to the violative artist features Nigel Terry as Caravaggio, a bad-boy of Italian aristocracy who scandalized the established order with his faintly erotic paintings of often naked saints modeled by prostitutes and street urchins.
Jarman portrays Caravaggio as a man of intense passions – artistically, emotionally and physically – who was also bisexual, with a taste for “rough trade.” Sean Bean, long before his turn as Ned Stark on “Game of Thrones,” co-stars as the bisexual Ranuccio, the artist’s rugged lover. Jarman’s regular muse, the incomparable Tilda Swinton, is also on hand as Lena, the beautiful mistress who comes between these two men.
A quirky yet elegant film, blending anachronistic playfulness (a technique Jarman would use again in Edward II, also available now on Dekkoo) with a touching homoerotic love story, spectacular camera work and a complex, impressionistic feel, Caravaggio is a unique cinematic pleasure. Jarman spent seven years preparing for the film. When the actual production began, he made it in only five weeks – all in one single warehouse at the East End of London.
You can watch Caravaggio now on Dekkoo – and make sure to check out Edward II as well.
Derek Jarman delivers a retelling of the life of the celebrated 17th-century painter through his brilliant, nearly blasphemous paintings and his flirtations with the underworld. Watch ‘Caravaggio’ now on Dekkoo!
James, a sexy, youthful sought-after instagram star in high-society and self-proclaimed ‘Trophy,’ is dumped by his wealthy live-in benefactor. Now he must learn that the real world is not the facade he’s built for himself on social media. Stream the award-winning short film ‘Trophy Boy’ on Dekkoo!
As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. ‘Real Boy’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: A wicked ensemble comedy about a group of gay, lesbian and hetero friends and family connected by secrets and lies.
Back in 1991, Christopher Marlowe’s notorious 16th century play was radically adapted into a gay cinema masterpiece by late, great queer auteur Derek Jarman.
Using anachronistic imagery, modern dress, gay activists battling riot police and Annie Lennox singing Cole Porter, Edward II tells the story of an openly gay British monarch and the persecution he suffered. It’s given a contemporary resonance by Jarman, paralleling the injustice of homophobia at the time.
King Edward II (Stephen Waddington) rejects his cold wife Queen Isabella (Tilda Swinton) and takes a male lover, the commoner Piers Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan) upon whom he bestows gifts and power. The King’s behavior enrages the sober, business-suited court officials and the spurned queen becomes a seething monster whose dresses and jewelry grow more outrageously lavish as her need to vengeance escalates and the plotting begins.
Edward II is a prime example of “New Queer Cinema” – the indie film movement of the early 1990s. Jarman reworked Marlowe’s play into a homoerotic, sexually charged, radically relevant work. Graphic, brutal, moving, surprisingly funny and always erotic, the film blends prose with contemporary jargon and costumes, replete with positive portrayals of queer sex, profanity and ACT- UP activists.
Brilliant, daring and innovative, Edward II showcases gay cinema at its finest. It’s not streaming on Dekkoo.
A drag queen (Chiwetel Ejiofor) comes to the rescue of a man (Joel Edgerton) who, after inheriting his father’s shoe factory, needs to diversify his product if he wants to keep the business afloat. ‘Kinky Boots’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!
In the short film ‘Prom Night’, documentary and fiction is blended seamlessly bringing to life real stories about LGBT people and their experiences at prom.
In this raw, eye-opening documentary a group of impassioned theater students come together to produce a play aimed at shedding light on the many stigmas and equality-rights issues faced by LGBT youth in the United States today. ‘Break Through’ is available now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: A hypnotic story from Chile that is both an enticing family melodrama and an explicit erotic thriller.
Todd Haynes’ feverish queer classic pays tribute to the glam rock era. Christian Bale plays a journalist attempting to track down a British pop icon (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who went missing shortly after a highly public affair with an American punk rocker (Ewan McGregor). Toni Collette and Eddie Izzard co-star. ‘Velvet Goldmine’ is now available to stream on Dekkoo!
The second season of the hilarious series ‘Successful People’ is now available to binge-watch on Dekkoo! After ten years of trying, Chet and Laura finally get a songwriting deal… on the same day Laura gives birth. The double whammy causes Laura to struggle to balance her priorities, while Chet begins to seek connection in the world of casual hook-ups for the first time. But everything could change when high school friend Kimberly realizes there’s more to Chet and Laura than they’ve ever believed.
A man living alone confronts a mysterious infestation in his apartment. Watch the short film, ‘The Exterminator’ now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: “A dark Australian drama plumbs depths of long-submerged secrets”
Not quite as incendiary as it was when it was first released in 1994, or as the theme might suggest, Priest tells the moving, truly provocative story of one clergyman’s struggle for sexual identity and religious idealism.
Linus Roache gives a stirring performance as Father Greg, a newly transferred priest assigned to a parish in a working-class neighborhood of Liverpool. As he comes into conflict with the liberal Father Matthew (Tom Wilkinson, terrific as always), whi is having a scandalous affair with the housekeeper (Cathy Tyson), Father Greg tries to come to terms with his emerging sexuality.
As the heart of this classic film is also the touching story of a sexually abused teen (Christine Tremarco) who confides in Father Greg, thus engaging him in a crisis on conscience.
A remarkably compelling debate on religious dogma, one intended to provoke thought and stir your emotions, Priest made a whole lot of waves when its premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (where it won the People’s Choice Award) back in 1994 – and went onto a wide release in early 1995. The film was loudly condemned by the Catholic Church in Ireland, who called for a ban. Using sound judgement, the Irish Film Censor Board decided to go ahead and allow it to be released… on Easter weekend, no less. This marked one of the first major disagreements between the Church and the Board.
Priest is streaming now on Dekkoo.
A homosexual Catholic priest finds out during confessional that a young girl is being sexually abused by her father, and has to decide how to deal with both that secret and his own. ‘Priest’ is now available to stream on Dekkoo!
On Josh and Greg’s first date, they quickly realize that the generational divide between them is the least of their worries. The gay short film ‘Call Your Father’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!
Two gay men celebrate their 25th anniversary by traveling across the country to get married in every state that will let them. The documentary ‘Married and Counting’ is now available to stream on Dekkoo!
Coming next week – Matthias lives in Berlin. Matthias likes techno. Matthew likes Matthias. Matthew wants Matthias. Matthew wants to be Matthias.