Acclaimed author Abdellah Taïa adapts his own semi-autobiography Salvation Army

Described by Interview Magazine as a “literary transgressor and cultural paragon,” Abdellah Taïa became the first openly gay Arab writer in 2006 and remains once of the only openly homosexual Moroccan writers or filmmakers. Since his coming-out, he has become an iconic figure throughout the Arab world, and a beacon of hope in a country where homosexuality is still illegal. His 2013 film Salvation Army, now available on Dekkoo,  is widely considered to have given Arab cinema its first gay protagonist.

Still from Salvation Army

Adapted from his own novel, itself based on his own coming-of-age, Taïa’s story concerns Abdellah (played by Said Mrini as a teen and Karim Ait M’Hand as an adult), a young gay man navigating the sexual, racial and political climate of Morocco.

Still from Salvation Army

Growing up in a large family in a working-class neighborhood, Abdellah is caught between a distant father, an authoritarian mother, an older brother whom he adores and a handful of predatory older men all too happy to take advantage of his sexual confusion in a society that denies his homosexuality.

Still from Salvation Army

As a college student, Abdellah moves to Geneva and while faced with the new possibilities of freedom, he grapples with the loss of his homeland. Both chapters in this character’s life inform one another in powerful and moving ways.

Still from Salvation Army

You can watch the trailer for Salvation Army below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 8/2/19

In a working class neighborhood in Casablanca, Abdellah, a homosexual teen, tries to build his own life within his big family, caught between an authoritarian mother and an older brother, who he adores. Stream ‘Salvation Army’ now on Dekkoo!

When Nathan tells Bret that he’s HIV positive, it doesn’t go well for Nathan. But months later, things take a turn for Bret. ‘All Things Fade’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!

If you can imagine ‘Lethal Weapon’ with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as younger, hotter ex-boyfriends, you’ll have the basis for ‘Hot Guys With Guns’, a modern take on the old-fashioned detective story. It’s ‘Chinatown’ meets ‘Boystown’. ‘Hot Guys With Guns’ is available now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Dekkoo Films presents a smart, funny, and sexy globe-trotting (and bed-hopping) romantic drama.

Fall in love with The Way He Looks

Positively enchanting, The Way He Looks is a feel-good high school romance that will likely warm over even the coldest, blackest and most bitter of hearts.

Blind student Leo (Ghilherme Lobo) doesn’t usually let his disability get him down. He’s of a sunny, cheery disposition – happy to lay around the pool with his best gal-pal Giovana (Tess Amorim). He wants to be treated like any other teenager. When new kid Gabriel (Fabio Audi) arrives at school, however, Leo starts feeling the pangs of puppy love and finds his confidence on less solid ground. Gabriel and Leo take an instant liking to each other and start spending a great deal of time together, but that makes Giovana feel left out and puts their friendship in jeopardy. On top of that, Leo is very worried that his feelings for Gabriel – who, for all Leo knows, is straight – might never be returned.

The cast in also uniformly excellent. Ghilherme Lobo is a compelling and endearing lead, Fabio Audi is a total high school dreamboat (it’s easy to see the attraction) and Tess Amorim, whose character, in lesser hands, could have been written as a complete drip, is thoroughly loveable and relatable as Leo’s jealous best friend.

The Way He Looks is based on writer-director Daniel Ribeiro’s 2010 short film of the same name – which won countless awards and charmed the pants off of audiences and juries during it’s initial film festival run. Anyone who has seen the original short will get the sense that Ribeiro is padding the run-time here. The short, after all, reached, in 17 minutes, the same heartwarming ending that the film takes 96 minutes to arrive at.

Spending time with these characters, though, is so pleasant that it hardly matters. The extra superfluous material is quite welcome. It’s nice to have extra time in this universe. It’s hard not to fall in love with this movie. Watch the trailer below. The Way He Looks is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 7/25/19

In the third and final season of the Dekkoo-original series, Nate has at last put Joey behind him and moves forward in his career and friendships. That is, until an opportunity presents itself that makes him question everything he knows about L.A. All the while Jeff, Andy, Nicole and Mick navigate what it is they want and need in order to finally feel…fine.

The new season of ‘I’m Fine’ is available to binge-watch now!

Two men meet for a passionate sexual encounter that ends up getting far more personal than either had imagined. Tackling issues of self-image, the prescribed sexual roles of gay men and notions of masculinity, this short film shows what happens when two attractive young guys cut through all the sexual tension and really start getting intimate. Dekkoo Films presents ‘Rubber Dolphin’.

The Pink Angels’ is an outlaw-biker movie from 1971 about a gang of gay bikers on their way to a ball to compete as drag queens. B-movie gold and, considering it was released in the early 70’s, treats its LGBTQ+ characters with respect.

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Coming next week: Two hot guys. Two smoking guns. One helluva ride.

Now Available: Analysis Paralysis

Tyler (co-writer/director Jason T. Gaffney) seems like the perfect catch. He’s smart, funny and adorably hunky, but he suffers from an unusual anxiety disorder – analysis paralysis, which makes him incapable of taking action without imagining the multiple ways that each possible choice could go wrong.

At the behest of his therapist, Tyler fights the disorder by asking out his dreamy neighbor Shane (Kevin Held). Despite the odds (visualized with a multitude of hilarious fantasies), the romance flourishes until Tyler’s affliction comes up against a stumbling block that might finally be too much for the couple: Shane’s rigidly stern parents. You won’t have to fight your resistance to this delightful romantic comedy.

The movie is Analysis Paralysis, a romantic comedy produced by New York Times bestselling author and recent Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Suzanne Brockmann. It was written by the son/father writing team of Jason T. Gaffney and Ed Gaffney, who also pen the California Comedy series of m/m romance novellas. (They are Brockmann’s son and husband. Analysis Paralysis is a family production that includes Gaffney’s husband Matt Gorlick in the on-set creative team.)

Gaffney hoped to create “a joyfully funny ‘boy meets boy’ movie with two out gay leads set in the LGBTQ-inclusive world” in which he grew up. So he wrote Analysis Paralysis, where YA writer Tyler pursues his cute neighbor Shane, but every step is preceded by a flurry of imagined, hilarious disasters. Through laugh-out-loud romantic misadventures, the film explores the intersection of imagination and anxiety, and the courage it takes to reach for love.

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

Everyone’s favorite white trash family comes back together for A Very Sordid Wedding

It’s time to take a trip back to Winters, Texas! Sordid Lives, the cult classic “black comedy about white trash” has a sequel available now on Dekkoo! Life has moved into the present for our favorite gaggle of crazies. Let’s catch up, shall we?

Sissy (Dale Dickey) is reading the Bible, cover to cover, trying to make some kind of sense out of what it really says about gay people. Her niece Latrelle (Bonnie Bedelia) has divorced her husband, who has taken up with a hot young gold digger.

Latrelle’s out-and-proud gay son Ty (Kirk Geiger) is on his way back to town with “his black man” (T. Ashanti Mozelle) and news of their own. Her sister LaVonda (Ann Walker) is still cussin’ and drankin’ and is being blackmailed to sit with the sick and afflicted.

LaVonda’s best friend Noleta (Caroline Rhea) meets a hot younger man (Aleks Paunovic) while visiting her awful mama (Carole Cook) in the hospital. G.W. (David Steen), sporting new fiberglass legs after Noleta burned his old ones, is still feeling guilty and mourning Peggy.

Nearly incoherent barfly Juanita (Sarah Hunley) has moved on from her obsession with Vacation Bible School roosters to the royal family while Wardell (Newell Alexander) and Odell (David Cowgill) still bicker at the bar.

Tammy Wynette-champion Brother Boy (Leslie Jordan) hasn’t been back to Winters since Peggy’s funeral, and he’s working at a tragic little gay bar, having added Loretta and Dolly to his new medley act “We Three Queens of Oper-y Are” till a chance meeting with a dangerous criminal (Emerson Collins) forces him out on the run.  Again.

As the sordid saga continues, an anniversary memorial service is being planned in honor of Peggy at Bubba’s Bar while the Southside Baptist Church is planning an “Anti-Equality Rally” to protest the advancement of same-sex marriage, spearheaded by Vera (Lorna Scott) and Mrs. Barnes (Sharon Garrison). Both events are to take place on the same night, so the cast of colorful characters are all on a collision course for shenanigans and fireworks! Along the way a host of new faces arrive in Winters – including a bisexual serial killer – all swept into the adventure on the way to the surprise wedding.

As the original film dealt with coming out in a conservative southern world, A Very Sordid Wedding explores the questions, bigotry and the fallout of what happens when gay marriage comes to communities and families that are not quite ready to accept it. Bigotry, marriage equality and cultural acceptance are all explored with Del Shores’ trademark dark humor. His much-beloved Sordid Lives characters deal with these important issues and the very real process of accepting your family for who they are… instead of who you want them to be.

Watch the trailer for A Very Sordid Wedding below and then catch up on all the shenanigans. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 7/19/19

When Tyler O’Conner, a young gay author, visits a therapist, he realizes that his intense fear of negative consequences is keeping him from living his life to the fullest. Determined to change his behavior, he decides to bite the bullet and ask his cute neighbor, Shane, out for coffee. But will his deep-seated neurosis threaten their burgeoning romance? ‘Analysis Paralysis’ is a available to stream now on Dekkoo!

Leonardo is a blind teenager searching for independence. His everyday life, the relationship with his best friend, Giovana, and the way he sees the world change completely with the arrival of Gabriel. Watch ‘The Way He Looks’ now on Dekkoo!

‘A Last Farewell’ is both a calm and upsetting portrait of an aging author’s sorrow over the death of his long-term partner.

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Coming next week: The Dekkoo-original series ‘I’m Fine’ returns for its final season!