DEKKOO DISPATCH 042 – ‘PYOTR495′

Title – ‘Pyotr495

Director – Blake Mawson

Starring – Alex Ozerov, Alanna Bale, Juliana Semenova, Max Rositsan

Release Date – 2016

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How was everyone’s Halloween festivities last night? Did you have to take the day off work to recover? Over here at Dekkoo we’re still clinging onto the vapors of October with this week’s short film that really packs a wallop: ‘Pyotr495‘.

The beginning of ‘Pyotr’ starts out simple enough, a really really cute guy named Pyotr (played by Alex Ozerov) is cruising on Grindr one night and is invited over to an older muscle stud’s apartment (decorated in terrible/amazing Russian fashion), but since this is a horror film he of course runs into some trouble, namely a few anti-gay Russian Nationalists that believe that it’s their responsibility to rid Russia of ‘degenerates’ like the gays. A twist towards the end makes the short film extremely enjoyable 😉

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There are lots of reasons why this short film has played all over the world: great direction, fantastic cinematography, a great horror twist, and a really cute lead to name more than a few, but it’s the films social commentary about LGBTQ bullying that really ties everything together. The films starts with a message, stylized like the beginning of a Disney fairy tale: “Russia, 2014 – The country’s military has been ordered to invade the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, while the newly-instated LGBT Propaganda Law makes it illegal to present gay life in Russia as normal. President Vladamir Putin’s approval rating is at a six-year high.”

This film paints a reality for many LGBTQ people living in Russia. They don’t feel safe in the same spaces that most of us in the U.S. feel safe in. The wrong hookup can lead to devastating consequences. Charlie David from Border2Border (who helped bring Pyotr to a wider audience online) interviewed the director Blake Mawson and asked a question about why the film is so important in this day and age:

With what we’ve seen is happening in Chechnya with the anti-gay purge and concentration camps for gay men, these human rights abuses by Chechen authorities where journalists covering the story are receiving death threats and being forced to flee the country – this is obviously a very clear sign that things are not getting any better and are in fact worsening in many parts of the globe. While I’m not claiming that our short film is solving any of world problems, I do think it is important that we use our voice as artists and as people in any way possible to draw attention to these injustices and continue to raise awareness.

I think if I can use genre-type film to put an audience in the shoes of the people who are experiencing this type of terror and hatred, make them uncomfortable and have them realize that this is actually not so make-believe in the end, that this type of horror is real – then we can begin to open people’s eyes and reach an audience in unexpected ways.

Check out ‘Pyotr495‘ tonight and do your part in kicking the asses of Russian bigots!!

 

 

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Watch it with: Your horror buddies.

Mix it with: Russian Vodka of course!

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 041 – ‘FURIOUS DESIRES’

Title – ‘Furious Desires

Directors – Simone Bozzelli, Denisse Quintero, Ricky Mastro, Rodrigo Alvarez Flores, Fabio Leal

Starring – Edilson Silva, Carlos Eduardo Ferraz, Gregorio Musatti, Jose Pescina, Hoze Melendez, Fabio Leal

Release Date – 2017

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Just one more week until Halloween!! Do you have your costume picked out yet for that gay rager? Since I’m a bit of a movie nerd I think my Halloween celebrations will be quite classical and consist of pumpkin carving, movie watching, and scaring as many trick-or-treaters as possible with a ‘Goodnight Mommy’ mask I have somewhere in my closet.

This week on the dispatch I’m diving into the year’s sexiest collection of short films: ‘Furious Desires‘. The collection covers the gamut from first love to the perils of immigration to Mexican coming-of-age rituals. There are five in total. I’ll break ’em down below and I guess I’ll give them a rating too, why not!

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1. ‘Daytime Doorman’ – Well if you like nudity this is the short film for you! Marcelo is your typical constantly horny Brazilian guy who loves to hang out with friends and party. Marcio is a little more reserved and is the doorman of Marcelo’s building. When Marcelo invites the ‘straight’ Marcio out for a drink they end up hooking up which starts a string of hot (and sometimes sweet) encounters. I enjoyed all the sex, but I couldn’t really connect with the main character. He’s definitely painted as a bit ‘ditzy’ which did annoy me slightly. But like I said earlier – very sexy and tons of nudity!
3/5

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2. ‘Xavier’ – This is a very sweet film about a father who while trying to understand why his son is being anti-social at school comes to the realization that he might be gay. The evidence presents itself to him as he spies his shy son suddenly smiling and opening up to an older boy, but his theory is confirmed when he invites family friends over who bring a boy that Xavier can’t keep his eyes off of. The father’s understanding and acceptance of his son’s feelings is really adorable and makes the short film a gem.
4/5

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3. ‘The Other Side’ – Probably the highlight of the collection, ‘The Other Side’ covers a wealth of topics in its short run time including immigration, closeted relationships, and young love. Felipe & Claudio meet randomly while cruising on a bus and eventually fall in adorable puppy love. After shit goes down Felipe is forced to make the decision between staying home or following his love across the border to ‘The Other Side’.
5/5

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4. ‘The Tigers Fight’ – I always enjoy films that feature a heavy dose of history and culture and this one does that by exploring the customs involving the transition from childhood to manhood and also pledging your romantic interests towards another. The story focuses on Nicolas as he prepares for his ‘Tiger Fight’, a custom that encourages young men to spar with each other in full costume which by doing so invigorates the spirits to provide water for crops. He gets help from his best friend Pablo who is still mourning the death of his father. The short film has a great balance of family life, village life, cultures, customs, and boys wrestling in the rain 😉
4/5

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5. ‘Loris is Fine’ – I’m a sucker for gorgeous cinematography and gorgeous guys and this Italian short film has both! Sadly that’s about all it has in my opinion. The main character (while he is extremely hot) is self-absorbed like whoa and pretends to have a boyfriend (Or is he real? Can someone enlighten me??) who’s HIV positive, but can’t love him fully until he’s HIV positive as well which then leads to Loris inviting HIV positive men over so he can seroconvert. I don’t think it’s the worst thing ever, but I just didn’t understand a lot of what was going on. Oh well.
2/5

 

 

So there you have it! A nice strong collection of sexy short films that you should definitely binge tonight or this weekend.

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Watch it with: A bunch of friends that love short films

Mix it with: White wine all around!

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New This Week – 10/20/17

This is the art for the movie A Closer Walk With Thee

Intense and deliciously homoerotic, ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ is an award-winning new thriller follows Jordan, a strange young Christian missionary who gets caught watching his handsome and equally young Pastor take a shower. Disturbed by these “sinful” urges, Pastor Eli becomes convinced that Jordan is under the influence of a demonic force. The two men get unusually close as an amateur, bizarrely erotic exorcism soon begins!

This is the art for the gay short film The Morning After

In the gay short film ‘The Morning After‘, Harry’s world is turned upside down when,after a drunken night out he awakens to discover a naked man in his bed.

This is the art for the gay film The Daydreamer's Notebook'

From director Michael J. Saul, the prolific filmmaker behind ‘The Surface‘, ‘True Love’ and ‘Go Go Reject‘ comes ‘The Daydreamer’s Notebook‘, an anthology of seven short, experimental works. These visually inventive short films reflect the filmmaker’s obsession with daydreaming in the work he’s created over the past 40 years.

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Coming next week: An erotic an luxurious feast for the eyes.

New This Week – 10/13/17

This is the artwork for the comedy fim Elijah's Ashes

A hilarious dark comedy about the deep, loving bond that exists between brothers…even ones who despise one another. ‘Elijah’s Ashes‘ follows Lawrence, a somewhat lost gay man, who embarks on an unexpected family road trip with his gruff, homophobic older brother to scatter their father’s ashes.

This is the artwork for the gay short film collection Furious Desires from TLA Releasing

An apartment renter lusts after his doorman, a father comes to realize that his son is attracted to other boys, two horny men find themselves literally just beyond one another’s reach, a guy declares his attraction to his best friend and two young lovers go to great length to prove their affection in this stunning and supremely sexy new collection – featuring five award-winning short films that deals with the topic of desire in various forms. Watch ‘Furious Desires’ now on Dekkoo!

This is the artwork for the film In A Glass Cage

In the aftermath of WWII, a former Nazi doctor and child molester finds himself confined to an iron lung following a failed suicide attempt. Things get even worse when a mysterious, handsome young man, hired to be his caretaker, is discovered to be hellbent on revenge. An uncompromising psychosexual drama that’s erotic, painful and terrifying in equal measure, ‘In a Glass Cage‘ is a highly controversial classic.

This is the artwork for the gay short film Alle Werden

When Andreas’ close friend Samuel meets Philippe, a highly respected colleague, Andreas finds himself in the awkward and uncomfortable position of watching his best friend fall in love…again. Watch ‘Alle Werden’ now on Dekkoo.com!

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Coming next week: A homoerotic Evangelical exorcism film. Need we say more?

DEKKOO DISPATCH 039 – ‘IN A GLASS CAGE’

Title – ‘In a Glass Cage

Director – Agustí Villaronga

Starring – Günter Meisner, David Sust, Marisa Paredes, Gisèle Echevarría

Release Date – 1986

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Darkness. A house containing evil and secrets. Innocence lost. A desire for revenge and murder. ‘In a Glass Cage‘ takes no prisoners and instead marches onwards through its self-made carnage towards a delicate balancing of art-house sensibilities and an exploration of twisted humanity. In fact this film is so disturbing that even John Waters said, “I’m too scared to show it to my friends!”

Agustí Villaronga made the harrowing film in 1985 and partially based it on Gilles de Rais, a companion to Joan of Arc and a notorious and self-confessed murderer of children (supposedly in the hundreds!). Like Pasolini’s ‘Salo’, Villaronga decided to set his tale at the end of WWII and utilizes a Nazi as the twisted figure at the center of the film. The film starts without remorse with Klaus (our resident evil dude) taking photos of a boy hanging from a rope. He’s naked and bears the marks of repeated tortures (I never said this was an easy movie to watch!!). After dealing the killing blow to the young boy Klaus seems to have some sort of revelation and immediately runs up to the roof of the house and jumps. Meanwhile someone was watching the proceedings and steals Klaus’ scrapbook/diary of his evils.

Fast-forward a few years and we’ve found that Klaus, while still alive, is now living inside a large iron lung. A device that controls his breathing. Without it he dies. His wife (played by Almodovar regular Marisa Paredes) and young daughter have been taking care of him in a country house in Catalonia where they try and avoid the Nazi witch hunt taking place in the rest of the world that would surely condemn them. Suddenly an invader boldly infiltrates the house and locks the door where Klaus is kept. When the wife demands to be let in she finds Angelo, a brooding young man petitioning to become Klaus’ nurse. Much to her dismay Klaus insists that Angelo stay to be his nurse and we eventually find out that it’s because Angelo is the one that knows all of Klaus’ secrets.

What follows is a dangerous lesson in power dynamics and the nature of evil itself. The beginning is dramatic, the middle is disturbing, and the end of the film is incredibly hypnotic and moving.

Besides the fantastic acting and writing, the cinematography is really what stands out to me in this film. Jaume Peracaula has lensed almost all of Agustí Villaronga’s films and he manages to find a perfect balance between light and dark and most of all the color blue which I’m sure has some symbolic meaning that I can’t quite figure out (I’m being honest at least!). The transfer that we’ve brought to Dekkoo is the latest High Definition remaster which really is miles better than the old DVD that used to exist where you could barely make out what was happening in half of the film.

While the themes are difficult to handle I truly love this movie. Top 25 for sure! To me it seems like ‘Salo’ as directed by Dario Argento and Pedro Almodovar and I’m crazy excited that it’s finally here on Dekkoo where you can challenge yourself to Agustí Villaronga’s masterpiece.

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Watch it with: Probably just yourself.

Mix it with: Water.

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New This Week – 10/6/17

This is a still from the movie Perfect Obedience

Julian, a 13-year-old seminarian will endure a hard spiritual journey to reach ‘Perfect Obedience‘. The order’s founding father, captivated by his fragility and innocence, will take him to live together with him in his private home for a year. In that time Julian will wander the most intense and contradictory phase of his life while his mentor guides him to complete psychological and physical surrender. (subtitled)

This is a still from the short film Welcome To New York

In the award winning short film ‘Welcome to New York‘, five young New Yorkers visit the a therapist to work through their crazy first experiences in the Big Apple.

This is promo art for Child of the 70's

Child of the ’70’s‘ is the story of gay Italian-American Carlo Perdente who ends up working as a personal assistant to his 1970’s TV idol, the neurotic and over-the-top KiKi Lawrence.

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Coming next week: A profoundly entertaining (and often arousing) collection of stellar short films from an array of staggeringly talented international filmmakers.

DEKKOO DISPATCH 038 – ‘UN CHANT D’AMOUR’

Title – ‘Un chant d’amour’

Director – Jean Genet

Starring – Lucien Sénémaud, Bravo

Release Date – 1950

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Today on Dekkoo we’re featuring an early masterpiece of silent Queer Cinema: ‘Un chant d’amour‘ directed by the notorious criminal-literary queer Jean Genet. The 25-minute film was one of the first cinematic depictions of explicit homosexual desire and sexuality which therefore made it ripe for censorship by many governments around the world. The movie exists as a highly entertaining piece of art-cinema, an autobiography of Jean Genet, and a harrowing portrait of homosexuality in prisons.

I feel an introduction to Jean Genet is needed in order to appreciate this film as much as possible. He was a social rebel, a criminal queer, a playwright, and a writer of literature. His novels ranged the gamut from autobiographical tales of his time in the Mettray  Penal Colony lusting after fellow prisoners (“The Miracle of the Rose”) to fictionalized romancing of criminal queers (“Our Lady of the Flowers”) to tales of strong beautiful sailors who turn to criminal activities (“Querelle de Brest” – which Fassbinder later adapted into a movie in 1982 – his last movie before overdosing). His early life sounds like something out of a Christine Vachon-produced film. His mother was a prostitute who raised him for 7 months before dropping him off at an orphanage. While he grew up he excelled in getting into trouble and running away from home even though he had a supportive foster family. At 15 he got sent to a penal facility. At 18 he joined the army, but was later kicked out for getting caught having sex with men. After that his life consisted of wandering around Europe, getting into trouble and going to jail a bunch of times until he met Jean Cocteau who had taken a liking to his writings. When finally faced with life-in-prison due to being in prison 10 times – Jean Cocteau and other influential artists managed to convince the French President to pardon him. After that Jean Genet never went to prison again.

So let’s dig in to the film itself. ‘Un chant d’amour‘ is a silent film. Supposedly sponsored by wealthy French gays who wanted to add it to their porn collections the film starred Genet’s lover at the time, Lucien Sénémaud whose beauty he claimed, “harpooned me” and two other actors who we don’t know much about besides that one of them (the older prisoner) was a pimp named Bravo. The film has 3 central characters: A sexy 20-something prisoner with swagger, an older Arab prisoner in lust with his next-door neighbor, and a prison guard that acts as a jealous voyeur throughout the movie, constantly watching the prisoners interact. Of course because there’s a wall between the two would-be-lovers their interactions are limited to blowing smoke through a wall and swinging a bouquet of flowers outside their prison windows. Nothing stops them in their dreams though…

After it was screened in 1966 Sol Landau was indited by police in Berkeley, CA for screening an obscene piece of cinema. After fighting the case all the way up to the Supreme Court he ended up losing with a 5-4 ruling by the court. The Alamadea Superior Court claimed it, “explicitly and vividly revealed acts of masturbation, oral copulation, the infamous crime against nature [a euphemism for sodomy], voyeurism, nudity, sadism, masochism and sex…” and that it was “cheap pornography calculated to promote homosexuality, perversion and morbid sex practices”.

If you’re a self-proclaimed Queer Cinema nerd then ‘Un chant d’amour‘ is without a doubt a MUST-SEE. I’ll leave you with these words by Jim Clark who by my research has created the best article dedicated to ‘Un chant d’amour‘ out there, “Genet takes us places, invariably in the underworld of hustlers, thieves, murderers, and convicts, where most of us have never set foot; but even as he exposes their lives with excruciating fullness, he reveals – and celebrates – their/our common humanity.”

 

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Watch it with: One or two fellow film nerds.

Mix it with: A deep, dark, french wine.

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