Short Film Spotlight: The Long Ride

Not everything is as it seems in The Long Ride.

An 8-minute comedy-drama from writer Samy Souissi and director Sarah Passos, the film stars Matthew Morrison as Zack, an up-and-coming British actor with lots of talent, but very little professional luck.

After a long and uncomfortable day, all Zack wants to do is sit down and relax on his long train ride home. Determined to get a seat, he decides to “make a scene” with the help of his long-suffering boyfriend Aidan, played by Joseph Prestwich. His efforts, however, prove a little too convincing and end up getting him in much more trouble than he anticipated.

The Long Ride is a clever, well-acted and deliberately deceptive short film about a fake break-up turned tragically real. The full short film is available now on Dekkoo.

Now Available: The Extinction of Fireflies

Set in a coastal New England town over Labor Day Weekend, the new comedy-drama The Extinction of Fireflies follows a middle-aged playwright who invites some friends to read his latest dramatic effort.

Those friends are Charlotte, a legendary TV diva, and Jay, an actor who rarely finds himself employed. The play, titled “The Extinction of Fireflies” is a mythological comedy based on the epic romance of Roman Emperor Hadrian and his teenage lover Antinous. When Jay brings along his new, much younger lover Callisto, life begins to imitate art and the critical feedback of the piece becomes personal and surprisingly spectacular.

Based on his own stage play, this new comedy from writer-director James Andrew Walsh stars multi-award winner Michael Urie, of “Ugly Betty” fame, Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett, “Bob’s Burgers” and “Search Party” regular Drew Droege and “Chicaco Fire” and “Broad City” star Kario Marcel.

Shot entirely on location in Westerly, Rhode Island during the 2020 global pandemic, the film is dedicated to all the fireflies extinguished by both AIDS and the coronavirus.

Watch the trailer for The Extinction of Fireflies below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Now Available: Enfant Terrible

When 22-year-old Rainer Werner Fassbinder stormed onto the stage of a small, progressive theatre in 1967 Munich and seized the production, nobody suspected that this brazen young rebel would go on to become one of the most important post-war German filmmakers. But that’s exactly what happened.

His immense catalog of work is still unparalleled. Fassbinder, who lived hard and died at the young age of 37, crammed no fewer than 40 feature films, two dozen plays and an epic 16-hour miniseries into his brief, but intense lifetime. Many of his films were breakout hits at the most renowned film festivals in the world and continue to both inspire and polarize audiences, critics and filmmakers today.

His open bisexuality, radical views and self-exploitation, as well as his longing for love, made him one of the most fascinating directors of all time.

Co-writer/director Oskar Roehler and lead actor Oliver Masucci bring the unabashedly queer iconoclast to life in Enfant Terrible – and it’s not always pretty. The film takes an unflinching look at some of Fassbinder’s wildest and most notorious moments, unafraid to examine them through a more contemporary lens, but never losing sight of what made him such a mad cinematic genius in the first place –  albeit a highly controversial one.

Watch the trailer for Enfant Terrible below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Three teens enter a complicated love triangle in the queer high school classic Dare

Originally released in 2009, Dare is a romantic teen drama from director Adam Salky, based on his own acclaimed 2005 short film of the same name. Featuring an all-star cast, the film tells a captivating story about a group of high school seniors at the crossroads of their adult lives.

When a pompous young actor tells so-called “good girl” Alexa (Emmy Rossum) that she hasn’t really lived, she embarks on a bold journey that takes her into the arms of a mysterious bad boy Johnny (Zach Gilford). Envious, her shy best friend Ben (Ashley Springer) also dares to pursue Johnny, complicating Alexa’s romance and pushing the sexual and romantic boundaries among the three friends.

In addition to Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford and Ashley Springer as the three leads, the cast of Dare also includes Ana Gasteyer, Sandra Bernhard, Alan Cumming and a young, pre-stardom Rooney Mara just before her A-list breakthrough in films like The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

A critical hit at the time of its release, Newsday called Dare “one of the smartest and most honest teen movies in years.” The New York Times said the film is “at once more provocative and more contemplative than most of its big-screen counterparts.”

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

A neurotic filmmaker navigates love in the charming British rom-com Benjamin

Benjamin, written and directed by British comedian Simon Amstell, is a charmingly offbeat romantic comedy about a mess-of-a-filmmaker juggling the anxieties and excitement of his upcoming film premiere with the fear and awkwardness of a burgeoning romance.

Gangly and neurotic, and always ready with a self-defensive quip, indie film director Benjamin (Colin Morgan of The Happy Prince and Belfast) nervously prepares for the premiere of his sophomore feature when he meets and falls hard for Noah (Departure and Little Joe star Phénix Brossard), a confident and charming young French musician.

Will Benjamin’s insecurities and anxieties get in the way of success and happiness? Will his film be a critics-savaging disaster and he, a one-hit wonder? Amstell peppers this entertaining tale with hilariously deadpan one-liners and a scene-stealing cast of supporting characters including Joel Fry (Cruella, Game of Thrones, Our Flag Means Death) as Stephen, Benjamin’s manic-depressive stand-up comedian best friend; Jessica Raine as Billie, his unbearable publicist, Harry (Jack Rowan), his egocentric, bi lead actor; and Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pride and Prejudice) as his patient producer.

A laugh-out-loud look at one man’s land mined road to success and love, Benjamin is a true must-see.

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

Now Available: Marionette Land

Robert Brock, the artistic director and founder of the Lancaster Marionette Theatre in Pennsylvania, lives above the space with his mother, Mary Lou.

Together the pair have been keeping this Lancaster treasure going for thirty years with unique takes on classic marionette shows for families (including Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and Aladdin) and cabaret-style grown-up shows which feature Brock performing as Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler and other divas.

Each puppet has not only been handcrafted by Brock himself, but also acts as a window into the personality that has passionately driven this fading form of entertainment.

Offbeat and endlessly endearing, the new documentary Marionette Land follows Brock and his mother as they go about their daily business… until COVID-19 threatens to drop the curtains for good. As the thirty year anniversary approaches and attendance dwindles, Robert begins to reflect upon his life dedicated to entertaining others while sacrificing his own personal needs. Though the stage gave him confidence to become and accept his true self, it also left him without a partner to share the spotlight with.

From director Alexander Monelli (the filmmaker behind the acclaimed doc At the Drive-In), Marionette Land intimately captures a deeply gifted artist as a personal and professional crossroad.

Watch the trailer for Marionette Land below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Short Film Spotlight: The Uninhabitable Ones

The Uninhabitable Ones, a new twenty-five-minute short film from director Anderson Bardot, follows a contemporary dance company in Brazil as they are about to debut their latest show.

Inabitáveis, their newest performance, addresses black homosexuality as its theme. Running parallel to the rehearsals, the choreographer builds a friendship with Pedro, a black boy who doesn’t identify as a boy at all.

A poetic wildness of transgressive queers, of impressionist colors, of bodies that celebrate their black and latinx existences, The Uninhabitable Ones offers up a thoughtful, visually inventive and deeply moving feast for the eyes.

The Uninhabitable Ones is the kind of movie I’d like to see on a movie screen,” said director Anderson Bardot. “A show that inaugurates the theme of black sexuality on the theater stages in the state of Espirito Santo, but more than that, a movie that overflowed the stage and made of it its own true space of emancipation – art as a tool to promote life.”

Watch the trailer for The Uninhabitable Ones below. The short film is now streaming on Dekkoo.

Straight-Jacket is a sexy and funny pastiche of closeted 1950s Hollywood

Originally released in 2004, Straight-Jacket is a colorful gay comedy written and directed by Richard Day, based on his own stage play of the same name.

Set in the 1950s, the film revolves around Hollywood heartthrob Guy Stone. Played by cutie-pie Matt Letscher, the character can easily be read as a not-so-veiled stand-in for Rock Hudson. A wildly popular leading man, the public loves to gossip about Guy’s romantic conquests, but the young actor has a secret. While he’s been involved in an abundance of flings, none of them have been with women.

Looking to get the press and public to stop speculating about his bachelorhood, Guy’s agent Jerry (Veronica Cartwright) convinces him to marry the unassuming Sally (Carrie Preston). However, soon after the wedding, Guy develops major feeling for an attractive young writer named Rick (Adam Greer), leading to an uncomfortable love triangle that could ruin the reputations of everyone involved.

Presented as a pastiche of Rock Hudson-Doris Day romantic comedies, Straight-Jacket is a charming and sexy romp through a different time in Hollywood history.

Watch the original trailer for Straight-Jacket below. The film is available now on Dekkoo.

Now Available: Down in Paris

Antony Hickling wrote, directed and stars in the personal and beautifully evocative Down in Paris, which follows a troubled gay filmmaker at a creative and personal crossroad through one unusually eventful night.

Richard (Hickling) is a gay movie director in his forties who finds himself suddenly overwhelmed with crippling anxiety in the middle of a night shoot for his latest project. Without saying a word to his cast and crew, he walks off the set and wanders through the Paris streets in search of answers and hopefully, the inspiration to continue.

During his long dark night of the soul, Richard bonds with a British woman he meets in a bar, runs into an old boyfriend, visits an eerily profound fortuneteller and has a myriad of other random encounters (including a memorable visit to a gay sex club).

Some of these encounters are warm, some disturbing, others life affirming. None, however, quite provides what Richard is seeking. As dawn approaches, he must confront his fears and question his deepest desires in order to find renewal to continue his life journey.

Watch the trailer for Down in Paris below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Now Available: Crutch

An autobiographical film taken from the experiences of writer-director Rob Moretti, Crutch is a coming-of-age tale about a young man’s struggle with family problems and substance abuse.

Behind a façade of suburban middle class perfection, David (Eben Gordon) finds that his home life is falling apart. As he tries to cope with the impossible situation, the troubled and impressionable teenager falls under the spell of Kenny (played by writer-director Moretti), an attractive thirty-something has-been actor turned theater coach.

When Kenny’s “support” escalates into seduction, David slowly descends into an abyss of drinking and drug addition from which he must escape if he is to survive.

Originally released in 2004, this gay indie tells a dramatic tale about the confusion of youth and the difficulties in finding oneself.

Crutch is available now on Dekkoo.