Artist Paul Harfleet turns Pansies into Power

Watch Pansy now on Dekkoo!

Artist Paul Harfleet’s family had always accepted his sexuality, but it was a different story outside the home. Like many young gay people, he regularly faced abuse. So, like any artist worth his salt, he turned that trauma into something brilliant: The Pansy Project.

The Pansy Project; Pansy Documentary

Harfleet plants pansies at sites where some form of homophobic abuse has taken place. He’ll go to the location, find the nearest source of soil and (generally without civic permission – ssshhh!) plants one unmarked pansy. The flower is then photographed (beautifully, we might add), uploaded to his website, given a title inspired by the abuse. Titles like “Let’s kill the Bati-Man!” and “Fucking Faggot!” reveal a frequent reality of the gay experience, which often goes unreported to authorities and by the media in certain parts of the world.

Paul Harfleet's The Pansy Project; Pansy Documentary

This simple action operates as a gesture of quiet resistance. Some pansies flourish, while others wilt. The artist began by planting pansies to mark his own experience of homophobia on the streets of Manchester, but now he plants them for others both on an individual basis and as part of various festivals and events.

Harfleet has visited cities all over Europe. To date, he has planted almost 300 individual pansies. His photographs have been exhibited internationally in Berlin, Paris, London and his hometown of Manchester, where the project began.

Paul Harfleet's The Pansy Project; Pansy Documentary

Following Harfleet as he brings the project to France for the first time, the new documentary Pansy is now streaming on Dekkoo. From Paris to Marseille, via Lille, Strasbourg and Avignon, Harfleet goes searching for testimonies and exposes the prejudices and discrimination gay people still face.

Check out the trailer for Pansy below and make sure to watch the full film on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 7/13/18

TheRevival

In ‘The Revival’, a secret love affair between a southern Baptist preacher and a young drifter challenges the equilibrium of a growing church. Stream this new gay film now on Dekkoo!

Madonna: Truth or Dare

This documentary chronicles Madonna’s controversial 1990 “Blonde Ambition” international tour. The film is a behind-the-scenes look at Madonna’s relationships with her dancers and crew, her then-boyfriend Warren Beatty, and her family and friends, achieving an intimate glimpse into the boundary-pushing singer’s drive and individuality. ‘Madonna: Truth or Dare” is now available on Dekkoo!

This is the art for the gay short film, 'Breaking Fast'

On the holiest night during the month of Ramadan, Mo, a practicing Muslim reluctantly attends his best friend’s birthday party, where he unexpectedly meets Kal, a 30-year-old all-American white guy, who catches him by surprise with each twist and turn through the streets of Los Angeles. ‘Breaking Fast’ is now available to stream on Dekkoo.

______________________

Coming next week: “Shimmeringly beautiful and utterly real.” – Stephen Holden, THE NEW YORK TIMES

Let’s play Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare is coming to Dekkoo starting July 12!

An up close and personal documentary chronicling Madonna’s unforgettable 1990 “Blond Ambition Tour,” Truth or Dare has become legendary, taking us backstage and under the covers with the music and pop culture icon. This film showed the Queen of Pop as never before – as not only a singer, dancer, sex goddess and savvy businesswoman, but as a den mother to her backup dancers.

Madonna’s dancers were almost all gay, and showed their sexual identity in the tour film (greatly encouraged by Madonna’s desire for them to ‘express themselves’).

Madonna with her backup dancers from the Blonde Ambition Tour
Madonna with her backup dancers

At the height of the AIDS epidemic and in the aftermath of the conservative Reagan era, Truth or Dare introduced audiences to fun-loving, bold and larger-than-life gay characters. The film was ground-breaking, featuring two guys kissing passionately and everyone else talking openly.

Madonna, determined to push the envelope, defended the film ferociously: “If you keep putting something in people’s faces, eventually, maybe they can come to terms with it.” The message stuck: even today, the dancers receive thank-you letters from people around the world recalling how the film changed their lives. Their openness turned out to be an inspiration to many.

This is the original movie poster for Madonna: Truth or Dare
The original poster for Madonna: Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare makes its Dekkoo debut on July 12. Whether you’ve seen it before or not, make sure to check it out and cherish the magic.

Pride Month Spotlight: Vito

“Enormously entertaining… Incisive and illuminating. This emotionally powerful documentary…is the stirring testament he deserves.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Hugely moving and even more inspiring.” – LA Weekly

“I highly recommend it to anyone interested in pop culture, in civil rights, or in how the two are deeply connected. Through his story, ‘Vito’ becomes not just a biography but a history of his times, as a fight against discrimination became a fight for life.” – Time Magazine

“Involving… vibrant. A dramatic focal point in the history of gay rights.” – Variety

 

Vito_4

On June 27, 1969, a police raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar took a surprising turn when patrons decided it was time to fight back. As a riot erupted outside the Stonewall Inn, a new era in the Gay Rights Movement was born. You know the story.

Vito Russo, a 23-year-old film student, was among those in the crowd the unforgettable night. Over the next twenty years, until his death from AIDS in 1990, Vito would go on to become one of the most outspoken and inspiring activists in the LGBT community’s fight for equal rights.

Vito_3

In the midst of his involvement with Act Up and the fight against AIDS, Vito was also a prolific writer. His seminal book The Celluloid Closet explored the ways in which gay and lesbian characters were (most often subtly) portrayed on film, what lessons those characters taught gay and straight audiences, and how those negative images were at the root of society’s homophobia.

Even before the book was published, Vito was taking The Celluloid Closet on the road, traveling to gay film festivals and college campuses for an entertaining and informative lecture/ clip show that intertwined Vito’s love of show business and radical gay politics. He continued writing, lecturing, speaking out and acting up until just months before his death.

Vito_2

Directed by award-winner Jeffrey Schwarz (I Am Divine, Tab Hunter Confidential, The Fabulous Allen Carr), Vito paints a galvanizing portrait of this outspoken activist in the LGBT community’s struggle for equal rights, using period footage and film clips to capture a vibrant era of gay culture. It’s simply a must-see.

Vito is streaming right now on Dekkoo as one of our Pride Picks. Make sure you check it out if you haven’t seen it already! 

New This Week – 5/18/18

This is the art for the gay movie, 'Grimsey'

After his boyfriend Norberto breaks up with him and runs away to Iceland, heartbroken Bruno decides to set out to find him. He soon meets Arnau, a handsome local tour guide in Reykjavik, who is determined to help Bruno in his exceedingly idealistic search. Their trip will become a grieving process for them both, until they reach the remote island of Grimsey. There, Bruno will have to learn what love really means in order to move on with his life. ‘Grimsey’ is a available to stream exclusively on Dekkoo, months before its release on DVD!

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

Prora, on the Baltic Sea. Mysterious, endless. In this deserted former Nazi holiday camp and communist military complex, teenagers Jan and Matthieu embark on an adventure that puts their friendship at risk. Watch ‘Prora’ now on Dekkoo.com!

This is the art for the gay documentay, 'To Be Takei'

A look at the many roles played by eclectic 77-year-old actor/activist George Takei, whose wit, humor and grace have helped him to become an internationally beloved figure and Internet phenomenon with 7-million Facebook fans and counting. ‘To Be Takei’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!

_______________________________

Coming next week – A studied examination of how one man folds jarring events into the everyday fabric of his life.

 

New This Week – 4/20/18

This is the art for the gay movie 'Al Berto'

It’s the summer of ’75 in Sines, Portugal. Al Berto, the writer, embodies an entire moving generation. He and his friends exude youth, eccentricity and hope for the future – but right after the fall of Portugal’s dictatorship system, the country is not yet ready for his love story. ‘Al Berto’ is now available on Dekkoo two months before DVD!

This is the art for the gay film, 'Turtle Hill, Brooklyn'

A funny, sincere, slice of life about a couple just trying to figure it out. Mateo and Will invite their friends over for Will’s 30th birthday. After a few surprise visitors, they get through the day, but realize that doubting your partner isn’t nearly as scary as doubting yourself. Stream ‘Turtle Hill, Brooklyn’ now on Dekkoo!

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

A small-town loner’s fascination with the new kid in town leads him into something much more sinister than he could ever have imagined. Watch the gay short film, ‘Bugcrush’ now on Dekkoo.

_____________________________

Coming next week: From the Award Winning filmmaker Tadeo Garcia comes a love story for our time. 

New This Week – 4/6/18

fbdf7874-8398-40ff-891a-b9678f24144d-f76715ab

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!

_____________________________

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