New This Week – 1/21/22

A sequel to the beloved romance Yossi and Jagger, this moving drama follows Dr. Yossi Gutmann reminiscing about the love he lost ten years earlier. When he encounters a group of attractive young soldiers, one of them, Tom, starts to reignite his romantic feelings. ‘Yossi’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!

Featuring a series of stimulating short films from France, this new collection showcases stories about men who are all facing a precipice of deep change in their lives – as well as the male figures who brought them there. Watch ‘French Touch: Between Men’ now on Dekkoo!

A colorful, expertly-crafted short film from writer-director Thibault Lévêque, Nevada tells the story of an unreliable man, in great emotional distress, who calls on two of his friends to join him in a run-down motel in the United States. Once there, his true motivations are unveiled and their friendship is tested. ‘Nevada’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo.

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Coming next week: A sheep farmer whose remote and quiet life is disturbed by the arrival of both his lover and his twin sister.

The New Queer Cinema Classic Poison is Now Available on Dekkoo!

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, Poison was the second feature directed by Todd Haynes – the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind Far from Heaven, Velvet Goldmine and Carol.

This groundbreaking American Indie was the most fervently debated film of the early 1990s and a trailblazing landmark of queer cinema. A work of immense visual invention, Haynes’ spectacular follow-up to his legendary Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is audacious, disturbing and thrillingly cinematic.

Inspired by the writings of Jean Genet, Poison deftly interweaves trio of transgressive tales – “Hero,” “Horror” and “Homo” – that build toward a devastating climax.

“Hero,” shot in mock TV-documentary style, tells a bizarre story of suburban patricide and a miraculous flight from justice; “Horror,” filmed like a delirious ’50s B-movie melodrama, is a gothic tale of a mad sex experiment which unleashes a disfiguring plague; while “Homo” explores the obsessive sexual relationship between two prison inmates.

A runaway hit which made national headlines when it was attacked by right-wing figures including Dick Armey, Ralph Reed and minister Donald Wildmon, Poison is unsettling, unforgettable and thoroughly entertaining.

Watch the original theatrical trailer for Poison below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 12/16/21

One of the most important and celebrated works of the early ‘90s New Queer Cinema movement, this landmark queer classic from award-winning director Todd Haynes tells three interwoven short stories, examining the AIDS crisis, the work of Jean Genet and more through allegory and a variety of genres. ‘Poison’ is available to experience now on Dekkoo!

Pawel is positive that their recent separation has completely dampened his feelings for the young man with whom he was in love. But when he finds an unexpected visitor at his home one rainy afternoon, it brings up a whole lot of feelings he thought were behind him. Watch ‘After Dawn’ now on Dekkoo!

Sean Paul Lockhart and writer-director Rob Moretti star in this tense psychological thriller about a young man who becomes dangerously obsessed with his slightly older male lover. As their relationship deepens, dependency takes over and dark secrets are revealed – leading to a violent confrontation. ‘Truth’ is available now to stream on Dekkoo.

Teens Isaac and Adam meet in secret one day after class. At the playground, Adam offers Isaac a joint. As the afternoon stretches into the evening, he also offers him a dance and many meaningful looks. Do these two buddies share a secret attraction…or are they just really high? The short film ‘Just Boys’ is available now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Here come the bears!

Gary Oldman and Alan Bates star in the 1988 drama We Think the World of You

Based on a 1960 novel by British writer J.R. Ackerley, We Think the World of You stars Gary Oldman and Alan Bates as ex-lovers who find their relationship put to the test over the love of a dog.

Originally released in 1988, the film is set in post-War London and follows Johnny (Oldman), an aimless young bisexual man who is sent to prison. He is forced to entrust his beloved dog, Evie, to the reluctant care of his down-trodden parents and older, middle-class ex-lover and best friend, Frank (Bates).

After a series of visits to Johnny’s parents’ home, Frank bonds with the dog – whose mischievous spirit reminds him of his incarcerated friend. As it becomes apparent to Frank that Johnny’s father is beating the dog, who is left for days on end in a small yard, a class war erupts over Evie’s welfare, exacerbated by Johnny’s manipulative and antagonistic wife Megan (Frances Barber), whose sole aim is to claim Johnny back from Frank on his forthcoming release.

A set of tragi-comic relationships evolve with the dog coming to represent the hold these two men really have over one another.

Though it was hard to find for quite a long time, We Think the World of You is now available to audiences once again on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 11/19/21

A 13-year-old boy learns to cope with his newfound sexuality and his unrequited love for the coolest kid at school in this lyrical coming-of-age indie from director Cam Archer. Originally released in 2006, ‘Wild Tigers I Have Known’ has been lovingly remastered for its 15-year Anniversary by the cult film label Altered Innocence.

Phil is a postman who really wants to become a writer. When an old woman on his route dies under mysterious circumstances, he descends into an investigatory rabbit hole, hoping to land a juicy story. Along his journey, he uncovers some personal truths as well. ‘Mailmain’ is a black comedy, a musical and a modern coming out story.

17-year-old Nadav wants to serve in a combat unit, even though his mother does not approve. A surprising encounter with his coach changes his perspective. ‘Boys’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo.

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Coming next week: Examining the effects of nationalism on the soul, while also exploring the tender brotherhood among misfits, this musical comedy revels in the discovery of finding your voice and learning to fly.

New This Week – 11/12/21

Janik and Samuel, best friends in their final year of high school, are practically inseparable. In the wake of a reckless incident, the pair travel together on a trip to Istanbul. During the trip, they find their friendship tested – and they’re soon forced to examine what they really mean to one another. ‘Blurred Lines’ is available exclusively now on Dekkoo!

A man heading to jail entrusts the care of his beloved German shepherd to his gay lover, who becomes enamored with the dog and wants to keep her at all costs. Gary Oldman and Alan Bates star in this heartfelt gay drama, originally released in 1988 and now available again on Dekkoo! Stream ‘We Think The World Of You’ now on Dekkoo!

Ang, a transgender sex worker with a pretty, feminine voice is assigned a special mission as an undercover spy. She disguises herself as a cisgender man to enter into a romantic relationship with Jit, a belligerent yet idealistic student activist with an evil voice. ‘Red Aninsri; Or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling Berlin Wall’ is streaming now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Cam Archer’s angst-fueled experimental classic coming-of-age film.

Dinah East, a long-lost LGBTQ+ curio, comes to Dekkoo

Originally released in 1970, Dinah East tells the story of a glamourous movie starlet who is later revealed to be a trans woman.

In 1950s Hollywood, Dinah East (Jeremy Stockwell) fooled the world into believing he was a she – and became a glamorous movie diva on top of it. When she dies, the secret finally comes out. The film proceeds to tell the story of her relationships with friends and intimates – including a lesbian wardrobe designer, a gay matinee idol (with whom she had an affair), a protective lawyer and a washed up prize fighter who becomes her chauffeur.

Marketed at the time as “Hollywood’s strangest story,” Dinah East is a film that is deeply dated and problematic in many respects, but surprisingly far ahead of its time in others. Seen today, it’s an undeniably fascinating cult classic curio of a bygone era.

After a short, but celebrated run in theaters, the film seemingly disappeared, but has not been restored for modern audiences. Take a trip back fifty years and behold the lost LGBTQ+ classic Dinah East. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

LGBT Film Archivist and Historian Jenni Olson on Queens at Heart

For contemporary LGBT viewers, Queens at Heart offers a vivid and compelling lens on how far we have come as a movement while also giving a deep (and wildly entertaining) understanding of what it was like to be transgender at a very different time in history. There are very few filmed images by or about LGBT people before the Stonewall Riots of 1969. There were especially few portrayals of trans lives and experience in this era. The two other films that come to mind from this period are: the remarkable feature documentary, The Queen (1968) and the short documentary portrait of an African American trans woman, Behind Every Good Man (1967). (While the 1970 dramatic feature, The Christine Jorgenson Story is at least somewhat well intended, it primarily comes across as lurid and sensationalist.)

Produced in New York City in 1967, this amazing 22-minute short introduces us to Misty, Vicky, Sonya and Simone — four courageous trans women who candidly discuss their personal lives with a lurid male interviewer who claims to have spoken to “thousands of homosexuals” (and who clearly doesn’t understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity). The film offers an extremely rare and poignant glimpse into pre-Stonewall queer life as it takes us to a New York City drag ball and follows the women through their daily lives. They talk about their double-lives — going out as women at night but living as men during the day, and about how they take hormones and dream of “going for a change.” One talks about avoiding the draft, another about her fiancé and another about the torment of childhood as an effeminate youth.

“We know that homosexuality is a psychological aberration that should be treated,” proclaims the interviewer as the film ends. Shifting to a surprisingly sympathetic tone he then concludes with the provocative challenge, “but what about those who don’t want to change? Who are we to judge?” This flip-flop perfectly encapsulates the film’s schizophrenic combination of attitudes as it alternates between luridness and validation, judgment and empathy.

Of course it is extremely significant for us to be able to look back and see this rare portrait of four wonderful trans women being so candid and courageous in the years before Stonewall. Queens at Heart is especially remarkable for how candid and brave the women are in expressing themselves so vulnerably when we can tell that the film was produced more as an exploitation film than as a serious documentary.

As a film historian and archivist I’ve unearthed many films over the years. Queens at Heart is the most significant on every level. It is a film that had been essentially lost to us — with nothing having previously been written about it in LGBT film literature. As a glimpse at pre-Stonewall queer life it is remarkable: from the wonderful footage of the drag balls and gay men dancing together to the provocative interviews with transgender women which are truly jaw-dropping in their candor. The power of this film for bringing us face to face with our forebears (and queer life in 1967) is absolutely incredible, and the film is of even greater interest in this era of increased trans awareness and activism.

Queens at Heart is a tremendously valuable archival portrait of pre-Stonewall trans women — their candor and courage are a true gift and this is a must-see film for anyone interested in transgender history.

About Jenni Olson:
Jenni Olson is an LGBT film historian, archivist and filmmaker based in Berkeley, California. Her work as a film historian includes the Lambda Award nominated The Queer Movie Poster Book (Chronicle Books, 2005) and her many vintage movie trailer presentations (Homo Promo, Trailer Camp, etc.). She is on the Advisory Board of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Moving Image Preservation.

New This Week – 9/18/20

When handsome and charismatic Pablo arrives at his affluent family’s house, everyone is eagerly awaiting the return of their beloved son, devoted father and caring husband. A seemingly exemplary pillar of Guatemala City’s Evangelical Christian community, Pablo’s announcement that he intends to leave his wife for another man sends shock waves through the family. ‘Tremors’ is available now to stream on Dekkoo!

In writer-director Mark Christopher’s ‘The Dead Boys Club’, a young gay man living in New York is haunted by visions of the gay scene in the 70’s, and a generation lost to AIDS. Watch ‘The Dead Boys Club’ on Dekkoo!

Fifty conversations exploring the many different shades of being “gay” in America. A conversation on the degrees and varying perceptions about how people define themselves. Stream ‘Between the Shades’ now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: A tense new thriller from acclaimed writer-director Marco Berger.

Buddies is an intensely personal study of love, death, and the need for activism

David (David Schachter), a naive graduate student, has volunteered to work as a ‘buddy’ for people dying of AIDS. Assigned to the intensely political Robert (Geoff Edholm), a lifelong activist whose friends and family have abandoned him following his diagnosis, the two men, each with notably different world views, soon discover common bonds, as David’s inner activist awakens and Robert’s need for emotional release is fulfilled.

The first narrative feature film made about the AIDS crisis, acclaimed independent filmmaker Arthur Bressan Jr’s (Passing Strangers, Abuse) Buddies is an intensely personal study of love, death, and the need for activism during the earliest years of the LGBTQ community’s fight for survival.

Structured like a filmed play, Buddies turned out to be Bressan’s final film, as he too would fall victim to AIDS barely two years after its completion.

Nearly impossible to see following its brief theatrical release and never officially released on home video, Buddies is available now on Dekkoo, newly restored from a long-lost 16mm negative. You can watch the original 1985 trailer below.