New This Week – 8/11/17

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Winner of the coveted Teddy Award for Best LGBT Feature at the Berlin International Film Festival, this provocative drama follows Andreas and Stefan, a gay couple whose happy life together is shaken to the core after an unexpected and inexplicable outburst of violence. ‘Tomcat’ is now available on Dekkoo!

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Connor is going to kill himself. But first, he’s throwing a going away party to say goodbye to all his friends. Problem is, he doesn’t seem to have any friends. Watch ‘The Going Away Party’ now available on Dekkoo!

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Trip to Hell and Back‘ is a documentary follows the true story of Trip Harting, one of the most famous horse riders in the United States who led a double life as one of the largest meth dealers in Washington DC’s gay underground drug scene.

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Coming next week: James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, bares his body and soul in this twisted portrait of a tortured real-life artist.

New This Week – 8/4/17

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When his long-term partner hurls him headfirst into fatherhood, troubled TV personality Steven Evans starts to shed his playboy reputation and embrace his new loving family bond… until an unexpected visitor arrives to shake everything up. Watch ‘The Dream Children’ on Dekkoo!

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New Year’s Eve 1999 finds college-bound Clark and Trevor concerned about the future of their friendship, and a request for Clark to be Trevor’s wingman ensures things will never be the same again. Watch ‘Tomorrow’ on Dekkoo!

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Making It Big’ is a reality series that follows the lives of seven friends, each with a unique connec-tion to the LGBTQ+ community, living abroad in Barcelona. While attempting to establish their ca-reers in a foreign land, their struggles coming of age and coming out in Ireland and Great Britain are revealed.

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Coming next week: A harrowing relationship drama will linger with you long after the credits roll. It won the coveted Teddy Award at Berlin International Film Festival.

DEKKOO DISPATCH 028 – ‘VITO’

Title – ‘Vito

Director – Jeffrey Schwartz

Release Date – 2011

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Today we at Dekkoo are paying tribute to Vito Russo: activist, author, academic, film fanatic, and most importantly a friend and father-figure to every LGBTQ member of our community. Jeffrey Schwartz’s 2011 film ‘Vito‘ is a stirring tribute to this legendary trailblazer of queer cinema and HIV/AIDS activism.

Growing up and browsing the shelves at Blockbuster I’d always walk by a tattered old looking DVD entitled ‘The Celluloid Closet’. Once I finally had made my way through most of the sexy films I’d been dying to rent I finally checked it out one night. The amount of queer stories that had to be hidden underneath various guises through time was sobering of what I had been accustomed to given my young age. ‘The Celluloid Closet’ was based on Vito Russo’s novel of the same name published in 1981 with the subtitle “Homosexuality in the Movies”. It woke people up to queer tropes like the predatory lesbian and the sissy homosexual. Vito truly believed that these tropes were perpetuating the oppression of gay people and that media needed to change in order for society to change. Vito wasn’t just sitting at home writing though. He went on college tours lecturing about his work and about queer cinema in general.

After publishing ‘The Celluloid Closet’ Vito Russo went on to form the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. That’s right, Vito Russo formed GLAAD! They’re the ones that to this day keep a very close eye on everything happening in media around the world and hold them accountable for their actions. And as much as I get annoyed with how much they hit me up for cash, they’ve done some great stuff like issuing a Studio Responsibility Index that ranks the major Hollywood studios by the quantity, quality, and content of LGBTQ representation in the films they produce.

Vito also left a big imprint on HIV/AIDS activism in the 80s through his involvement in the Gay Activists Alliance & ACT UP, his creation of a gay TV series called ‘Our Time’, and his participation in the 1989 Academy Award-winning documentary ‘Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt’. He told the story of his lover Jeffrey Sevcik who passed away from his battle with AIDS. The directors of ‘Our Time’ are Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman. Besides directing masterpieces like ‘The Times of Harvey Milk’ and ‘Word is Out’ they also were the ones to lovingly direct ‘The Celluloid Closet’ after Vito had passed away from his own battle with AIDS.

I’ve left you with a very basic skeleton of what Vito Russo did with his life, but when you watch ‘Vito‘ you’ll actually see his whole body and hopefully see even deeper.

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Watch it with:  A group of friends who appreciate gay heroes!

Mix it with: Beers!

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New This Week – 7/21/17

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Stray‘ is a brom-com in which Jay, a brash gay dude, and Rich, a nerdy straight guy, navigate sexuality and friendship in New York City. When Rich and Jay, once college buddies, reconnect after years apart, Rich discovers Jay is gay, even though Jay has been out as long as they’ve known each other. Rich’s repeated miscues earns Jay’s constant ridicule.

Don’t forget to check out our Dekkoo interview with ‘Stray’ creator Pablo Andreu!

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This revealing documentary invites you into the day-to-day lives of gay dads Scott, Steve, Randy and Drew, who are fathers through adoption, co-parenting and surrogacy. These men represent a new possibility, showing how in a modern world gay parenting can transform from a distant dream into a reality. Watch ‘Fatherhood Dreams’ on Dekkoo!

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The insecurities of sexual attraction, intimacy and connection are explored in the sensual short film, ‘Last Night‘.

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From John Greyson (‘Lilies’) comes ‘Proteus‘, a thrilling and erotic historical gay love story set in a South African penal colony during the 1720’s when sodomy was punishable by death.

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Coming next week: “An emotionally powerful documentary portrait with an impassioned voice.” – The Hollywood Reporter

DEKKOO DISPATCH 027 – ‘PROTEUS’ AND ‘TONIGHT IT’S ME’

Title – ‘Proteus

Director – John Greyson, Jack Lewis

Starring – Brett Goldin, Jeroen Kranenburg, Rouxnet Brown, Tessa Jubber

Release Date – 2003

Title – ‘Tonight It’s Me

Director – Dominic Haxton

Starring – Neil Elliot, Caleb James, Christian Patrick, Jake Robbins

Release Date – 2014

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In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve added another one of Dominic Haxton’s brilliant short films to Dekkoo. ‘Tonight It’s Me‘ stars Jake Robbins who appears in 2 of Dominic’s other films (to be added in the future!) and is also the star in Robert Hawk’s super sexy short ‘Home From The Gym‘. In ‘Home’ Jake felt far away and objectified. Here he feels merely objectified which isn’t bad for us! But seriously, in ‘Tonight’ we actually get to know more of what makes a muscled hustler like him tick.

The films starts off with CJ (Jake Robbins) dealing with one his usual ‘johns’; A fat older man who can’t stop insulting him and making his life miserable. Later on CJ stops off at a new trick’s house, Ash, who with his effeminate manner and his openness about sexuality and gender strikes a chord within CJ and he begins to open up more than he has with others in the past. The film is a masterpiece in subtle characterization and the hot interplay between the two main characters is the icing on top.

At Dekkoo we’re really proud to bring queer classics to the platform and John Greyson’s ‘Proteus‘ is one of those. Greyson has been a pioneering voice in the realm of queer cinema ever since hitting it big with the HIV/AIDS musical ‘Zero Patience’ back in 1993. His signature style of Derek Jarman-esque experimental narratives mixed with historical context and a few musical numbers thrown in for good measure combine to create significant works of cinematic art that still makes the festival and art-house cinema rounds to this day.

Proteus‘ was written and co-directed with Jack Lewis and concerns two men who were SPOILER ALERT! executed for sodomy in 1735 in South Africa. Normally I hate spoilers, but this is a historical film and it’s important to understand a little bit about history in order to grasp the subtle nuances throughout the film. Furthering the issue at the time was that they were a bi-racial couple.

Claas Blank and Rijkhaart Jacobsz are the two men at the heart of this story. Both of them are prisoners on Robben Island (an island on the west coast of Cape Town where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years of his prison term). Claas is a Khoi, a native of southwestern Africa and Rijkhaart is from the Netherlands whose government had control over the so-called ‘Cape Dutch’ area until 1795 when the British stepped in. A botanist named Virgil realizes that Claas has a deep knowledge of the South African flora and puts him in charge of the prison garden. Rijkhaart becomes one of his helpers and then eventually his lover. At first their relationship is joked about and ignored, but eventually simmering tensions between some of the other prisoners and the guards becomes too much to ignore.

Greyson combines this intimate historical drama with fun quirks such as incorporating modern technology like typewriters complete with busybody secretaries that give us historical context for courtroom scenes. The scenes towards the end of the film are of course saddening, but this is the 18th century and it would be dishonest to present a ‘happily-ever-after’ scenario.

If you like this film stay tuned because there will definitely be more classic queer gems like this one to grace Dekkoo in the future!

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Watch ’em with:  A friend or two who like historical dramas.

Mix it with: A white wine.

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New This Week – 7/14/17

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After Indre, his star actress, murders her mother, rich-kid filmmaker Romas helps her plan an escape from Lithuania before she’s apprehended. He decides to make one more movie along the way with the help of his handsome Mexican boyfriend Carlos – who is reluctant to become an accomplice. ‘You Can’t Escape From Lithuania’ is now available on Dekkoo!

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In the experimental, yet erotic short film ‘OuT‘ we travel through the stages of coming ‘OuT’ with the mysterious “A”. Watch ‘OuT’ on Dekkoo!

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Buenos Aires in the 1980s. Detective Chavez, a family man and a tough cop, once again must solve a mysterious crime. To reveal the identity of the murderer, Chavez must clarify the enigma waiting in ambush to capture his own heart. Passion surprises even the most astute detective. What will triumph: law or desire? ‘Death In Buenos Aires’ is now available on Dekkoo!

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When an old flame passes through town, Julian is confronted by the lingering memory of lost love. In an attempt to decipher nostalgia from his present feelings, Julian opens closed doors to explore new possibilities. ‘Sorry You’re Sad’ is a new episodic series now available on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week –  A ‘bromantic’ comedy series in which a brash gay dude a nerdy straight guy talk sex and relationships while reconnecting in New York City years after college.

 

DEKKOO DISPATCH 026 – ‘Animals’

Title – ‘Animals

Director – Marçal Forés

Starring – Oriol Pla, Augustus Prew, Dimitri Leonidas, Roser Tapias

Release Date – 2012

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Happy Outfest! I hope everyone who’s in sunny Los Angeles is having lots of fun and watching lots of sexy cinema at the film festival. If you’re not in LA then you should join in on the fun by watching the Outfest award-winning film ‘Animals‘ on Dekkoo which took home the Artistic Achievement prize back in 2013. I’m really psyched this film finally has arrived because it’s one of my all time favorites!! This is the first feature film of Marçal Forés who also directed ‘Everlasting Love‘ and while the two films are actually very different thematically, they’re very similar in regards to gorgeous cinematography (by Eduard Grau – ‘A Single Man’), exciting musical choices, and extremely attractive men. The soundtrack to the film in on vinyl and it’s one of my most played records. Soooo good!

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When I was growing up there was always lots of talk about having an imaginary friend. I was always sort of jealous when I’d watch movies and all these kids that were my age had this intense connection to something that I couldn’t really fathom. I wanted to be crazy too!! While I didn’t have an imaginary friend I certainly had a favorite teddy bear. I slept with it every night all the way through high school in fact (there were one or two replacements along the way). But right when I went to college he went in the closet and I don’t really miss him. In the film ‘Animals‘ though a teddy bear named Deerhoof is both Pol’s imaginary best friend and sole companion.

Deerhoof can walk and talk (in English bizarrely enough!) and talks to Pol about life, music, and comic books. Early on in the film we see Deerhoof grabbed by a dog and we get our first glimpse of how attached Pol is to his best friend and companion. But its not only the dogs that want to steal away Deerhoof, but also Pol’s brother who you can tell used to have a closer relationship before he joined the police force. Now he just acts as a demanding parental figure that wants Pol to get rid of Deerhoof and face reality. Luckily Pol has a few friends at school like Laia (who has a major crush on him) and Mark.

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Complicating Pol’s serene yet angsty life of comic books and cool Spanish punk music is Ikari, the new incredibly sexy boy in school. Pol can’t keep his eyes off him and eventually Ikari lets him inside a world that well… I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but the film definitely takes a turn! I feel like I’ve been making this movie seem normal minus the teddy bear, BUT IT’S NOT! Most people compare it to ‘Donnie Darko’ and I can’t really argue against that. It’s very surreal, goes unexpected places, and is quite serene and thought-provoking by the end. I had the privilege of being able to talk to the director right after watching it for the first time and I immediately asked him how much of an influence the short film ‘BUGCRUSH’ (which happens to be my favorite short film of alllll time) had on it and he smiled knowingly and said, ‘Quite a bit’. So if you’ve seen that then you know a little bit of the tone of the film at least.

Take a trip with Pol, Deerhoof, and the rest of the gang in the genre-bending and very queer film ‘Animals‘. On Dekkoo now!

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Watch it with:  With a few of your ‘cool’ friends.

Mix it with: Being stoned sativa-style works for this one.

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‘You Can’t Escape Lithuania’ – Now available same day as DVD!

We’ve just added Romas Zabarauskas’ latest film, ‘You Can’t Escape From Lithuania‘ to t loosely on his own experiences. It’s a stylish and supremely sexy gay road movie loosely based Zabarauskas’ own experiences.

Zabarauskas, who made a name for himself with the short film ‘Porno Melodrama’ and the feature ‘We Will Riot’ in his native Lithuania, funded this entire movie though Kickstarter…and went naked for donors to raise money (something, you’ll be happy to know, his cinematic counterpart also does in the film).

Watch ‘You Can’t Escape From Lithuania’ now!

New This Week – 7/7/17

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In 1952, Army Sergeant Bob Claunch was courted by his commanding officer Lieutenant Jack Reavley. In this self-narrated documentary, these two men recount the challenges they faced keeping their relationship intact, the issues they face growing old in a gay relationship, and their need for equal rights. Watch ‘Bob and Jack’s 52-Year Adventure’ on Dekkoo.com!

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In ‘Tonight It’s Me‘, a hot young hustler finds himself in uncharted waters when he spends the night with a client who’s far from the “johns” he’s used to servicing.

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Peter, a gay cabaret pianist, falls in love with Bill, a construction worker with intimacy issues. When Peter discovers Bill’s secret, he is determined to set him on a straight path, and when a shy young woman moves in across the hall, he puts his plan in motion, even as Bill seeks to strengthen his ties to Peter. Watch ‘Rhapsody’ on Dekkoo.com!

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As their plane slowly makes its descent, a young couple is faced with their differences through sudden pockets of turbulence. Watch ‘Turbulence’, now available on Dekkoo.com!

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Coming next week –  A stylish and supremely sexy gay road movie from acclaimed gay filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas.