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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DEKKOO DISPATCH 008 – ‘THE BUBBLE’

Title – ‘The Bubble

Director – Eytan Fox

Starring – Ohad Knoller, Yousef Sweid, Daniela Virtzer, Alon Friedman

Release Date – September 7, 2007

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Alright last week was light and sexy. This week I’d like to challenge you to watch a film that has more than shirtless boys at the center of its conflict (although they are present, don’t worry). For years conflict has plagued the Middle East, but throughout all of it there’s always been a strong spirit of life from the people that live there. No other film shows the intensity of the spirit of fun and being yourself throughout conflict than ‘The Bubble‘.

Eytan Fox (who also helmed the classic films ‘Yossi & Jagger’ and ‘Yossi’) returns to show the story of three best friends living in Tel Aviv together whose lives are changed forever by the presence of Ashraf, a Palestinian. Noam, a handsome Israeli soldier, falls head over heels for Ashraf and decides to conceal him in their bohemian apartment. He manages to get him a job and even bring him to parties. But eventually he’s recognized as a Palestinian and the pressure of his past family life threatens everyone.

The movie completely succeeds in both its portrait of youth living in the city of Tel Aviv (the gayest and most liberal city in Israel), but also its depiction of the angst that lies deep within the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Don’t expect a happy ending, but also don’t expect an entirely hopeless ending. Wars can end, but they only end when we all embrace each other and come to understand each other.

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Watch it with: Anyone who hasn’t seen this gay classic! Especially
someone who’s a bit clueless about the Middle East.

Mix it with: Manischewitz wine and hummus!

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 007 – ‘THE LAST MATCH’

Title – ‘The Last Match

Director – Antonio Hens

Starring – Milton Garcia, Reinier Diaz, Luis Alberto Garcia, Mirta Ibarra

Release Date – May 5, 2013

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Being gay in many parts of the world is still hard. Much harder than the glossy world of shows like ‘Glee’ would lead many to believe. In some countries and cultures it’s still all about being discreet and being smart about how you go about your ‘business’. Antonio Hens takes us into that world in Cuba, a country that’s seeming to get a new breath of life with trade relations being re-established with the United States.

After ‘Doors Cut Down‘ and ‘Clandestinos‘ (both of which are also on Dekkoo) Antonio continues to probe the world of machismo homosexuality in ‘The Last Match‘. However, this time in Cuba, in the steamy world of male locker rooms and gambling halls. Both of the main characters in this story have female partners; Yosvani has a fiancee who he seems very hesitant to have sex with. Renier straddles the worlds of life with his wife and child and the arena of hustling where he meets rich men who seem to fall in love with his chiseled handsome features and promise him the world. The two handsome men eventually meet and a downward spiral of sex and violence ensues.

Reasons for watching this film are numerous. If the fact that these super sexy guys aren’t enough then you should at least watch it for its extremely interesting commentary on modern life in Cuba which should be an academic reason for you to watch said sexy guys getting it on. Also there’s a crazy mother-in-law that’s so bat-shit crazy you’ll fall in love.

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Watch it with: Your best friend that you know has latin
fever!

Mix it with: A Daiquiri or a Mojito

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