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.

DEKKOO DISPATCH 062 – ‘SASHA’

Title – ‘Sasha

Director – Dennis Todorovic

Starring – Sasa Kekez, Predrag Bjelac, Ljubisa Gruicic, Zeljka Preksavec

Release Date – 2010

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It’s Wednesday and tonight you deserve a good ‘ole heart-warming hump day movie! I  proudly present to you the crowd-pleasing gay coming-of-age/romance/daddy film ‘Sasha‘ directed by Dennis Todorovic. This film went under the radar back in 2010, but it really shouldn’t have and Dekkoo is the perfect place for you to re-discover this gay gem!

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Sasha‘ rises above movies of it’s ilk due to a few factors, but the most noticeable one is the fact that Sasha comes from a family of immigrants. Mistaken for the most part as Serbians (although really from Montenegro) Sasha’s family now lives in Germany and are outsiders for the most part. The only piece of Sasha’s life that really connects him to his peers is his love of music. He’s a piano player and a very serious one at that. He trains hard to be accepted to the best music school in Germany and that’s where our love interest comes into play. Sasha’s love of music isn’t the only thing propelling him forward, but also his instructor who he’s madly fallen in love with. Enter Gebhard – the classic stereotypical hunky German guy in his late-30s who’s passionate about music, life, and swimming in really skimpy swim suits!

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When Gebhard tells Sasha he’s leaving the city Sasha realizes that the next few weeks are his ‘now or never’ moment. If he wants to be with the love of his life (Daddy!) he needs to come out and confess himself. If only it was that easy… He also has to focus on the upcoming piano audition, pay attention to his best friend Jiao (a violinist) who’s totally in love with him, and deal with his crazy immigrant family – of which his father is pretty homophobic, so there’s that all to deal with.

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Fun Fact: Gebhard (played by Tim Bergmann) played another gay man 14 years earlier in ‘Regular Guys‘ which is also available on Dekkoo! So if you’re in love and can’t get enough Gebhard there’s more!

 

 

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Watch it with: All of your romantic-leaning friends.

Mix it with: A German wine.

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Dekkoo Dispatch 001 – ‘Were The World Mine’

Welcome to the Dekkoo Dispatch, a brand new regularly occurring newsletter, where we will celebrate and discuss a title that is available on Dekkoo. Our goal with the Dekkoo Dispatch is to provide context and insight into the amazing content available on Dekkoo.

Today, we’re discussing ‘Were The World Mine‘ from 2008.

Title: Were The World Mine

Director: Tom Gustafson

Starring: Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Ricky Goldman, Nathaniel David Becker

Release Date: March 31, 2008

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Based
on his earlier short film “Fairies” (2003), Tom Gustafson (written along with
his partner and husband Cory Krueckeberg) directs the gayest musical adaptation
of a Shakespeare play ever put onto the silver screen.

Timothy just wants to sail through High School, avoid the bullies that tease him in gym, and imagine that the sexy captain of the rugby team, Jonathan, secretly desires him. But when rehearsals for the senior production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream begin, led by Ms. Tebit (Wendy Robie from Twin Peaks in a role that will make every gay boy who had a favorite teacher in high school positively swoon!), things quickly spiral out of control when a magicalflower that can make people fall in love with whomever they first see
(regardless of gender!!) falls into Timothy’s lap.

Were the World Mine‘ was one of the last gay films of the 2000’s to be shot on 16mm
film stock which creates a distinct grain texture that immensely contributes to
the fantasy-like world heightened by some fantastic original musical interludes
and songs from gay artists like Patrick Wolf and Mika.

Were the World Mine‘ is a spectacular queer fantasy where anything is possible – with
a little Shakespearean magic of course.

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Watch it with: Your Prince Charming, but your high school girlfriend who you used to be in musical theater with is fine, too!

Mix it with: A delicious Moscato or desert wine.

 

The True Fairy of Rock & Roll lands on Dekkoo!

Bruce Wayne Campbell, known by his stage name Jobriath, was an American rock musician and actor. He was the first openly gay rock musician to be signed to a major record label, and one of the first internationally famous musicians to die of AIDS.

Called ‘The American Bowie,’ ‘The True Fairy of Rock & Roll’ and ‘Hype of the Year,’ Jobriath’s reign was brief and over by 1975. ‘Jobriath A.D.‘ spotlights his life, music, groundbreaking influence and the new generations of fans slowly re-discovering him.

His is a story that some may find unbelievable. But fact is stranger than fiction.

Jobriath A.D. is now available on Dekkoo!

 

An adult superstar transforms in this musical-comedy-horror flick!

With Halloween just around the corner we thought we’d kick off the witching season a little early. I Was a Teenage Werebear is a hilarious musical spoof of 1950s and 60s drive-in flicks with a perfect dash of campy horror fun that is perfect for the season.

When closeted new kid Ricky O’Reilly (played by Sean Paul Lockhart better know as beloved adult film superstar Brent Corrigan) falls for Malibu High’s mysterious bad boy Talon (Anton Troy) love bites them on the ass as the two transform into bestial, leather daddy werebears!

We’ve included a ton of extras including deleted scenes and a making of featurette so be sure to check out all of the extras available with this great addition to the Dekkoo library.

I Was a Teenage Werebear is now playing!

#DoYouDekkoo?

Elizabeth Gracen, director of The Damn Deal, interview.

Have you watched The Damn Deal on Dekkoo yet? It’s a captivating, beautifully lit and shot black-and-white documentary about identity and what it was like to grow up gay in the South at the end of the 20th century. Originally shot in 1997, filmmaker, writer and former Miss America, Elizabeth Gracen, interviewed three young female impersonators who competed in the Miss Gay America Pageant.

In anticipation of the 44th Miss Gay America pageant happening in Memphis from October 5 – 9, Elizabeth Gracen talked about the making of The Damn Deal. It’s a wonderful interview we thought you might like to read.

Miss America 1983 Elizabeth Gracen. Photo by Emma Bogren.

‘My brother was a huge football star and now with me in competition in pageants, that’s my football – that’s me being a football star. I’m just a beautiful football star.” 

– Spencer May/Kelly Cruise, Miss Gay Arkansas America 1993, from ‘The Damn Deal’ (1997)

In 1997, filmmaker, writer and former Miss America, Elizabeth Gracen, interviewed three young female impersonators who competed in the Miss Gay America Pageant system for her captivating, beautifully lit and shot black-and-white documentary “The Damn Deal” (Flapper Films). The recovered, original footage, now restored, explores gender, identity and what it was like to grow up gay in the South at the end of the 20th century.

Crowned Miss America in 1982, Gracen (Elizabeth Ward at the time) went on to study acting, pose on the cover of Playboy, star (as Amanda) in the Nineties TV series “Highlander,” and established her own film production company (Flapper Films) and boutique publishing company (Flapper Press). She recently filmed actress Lee Meriweather for a documentary short and in March released her first Young Adult fantasy novel, “Shallily.”

In anticipation of the 44th Miss Gay America pageant happening in Memphis from October 5 – 9, Gracen talks about the making of “The Damn Deal.”

What initially inspired you to make “The Damn Deal”?

I had the good fortune to meet Spencer May and Michael Thornberry (two of the stars of “The Damn Deal” at a hair salon in Little Rock, Arkansas. I think it was Michael who told me about the local female impersonator pageant. They took me along to the pageant at the Discovery nightclub, and I was allowed to stay backstage as the contestants got ready for competition. I remember sitting in the corner, fascinated with their process. I don’t know what they thought about a former Miss America “spying” on them!

Not long after that, I had the idea to capture Spencer on camera as he morphed from male to female as I asked him questions about his life and experience in the world of female impersonation and pageants. I met Stan Ferguson around that time as well. Sadly, he passed away about two months after we filmed. Michael Thornberry joined on shortly after that.

You judged a Miss Gay Arkansas America pageant. What was your impression?

I think Spencer May got me the gig of judging the Miss Gay Arkansas pageant. It was a wonderful time! I’d never seen anything like it. Back then, I had no idea that there was such a vibrant female impersonator venue in Arkansas. I mean, come on! – Arkansas is smack dab in the Bible Belt! I think that the Discovery nightclub still hosts fabulous shows, but back then… I just think it is amazing that the place existed at all!

Though Miss Gay America is based on the Miss America pageant system, these are men impersonating women. Aside from the obvious differences, what struck you the most? At the time I shot the film, I had been away from the pageant world for quite some time. I was questioning the value of women having to compete with each other to wear a crown. The world of the Miss Gay America system has its parallels, but I think the process is much more exact and arduous. The dedication it takes to bring a “creation” to life takes focus, passion and sense of fun. I think it is a much more difficult endeavor than what I had to go through when I competed. I really admire what they do and the artistry it takes to bring their “creations” to life.

And what did you find similar to Miss America about MGA?

Well, these guys are definitely “in it to win it” when it comes to competition. That is very similar to what I experienced when I was involved in the pageant world in the early 1980s. Obviously, the theatricality is enhanced – the makeup, hair and flamboyant aspect to the performances. However, I think the MGA system hits all the same points when it comes to the attention to detail and the desire to be the “best you can be” at what you are trying to achieve. Honey, they all want that crown!

Many of the men talk about how impersonating a strong woman, inventing a new self, has empowered them. Did you find–for you personally or other women–that competing in the Miss America system was the same kind of empowering experience?

I think that the whole female impersonation pageant experience is very different than what a young woman experiences during her pursuit in the pageant world. For men, I see it as a grand experiment–very artistic and full of humor and curiosity. They are empowered by that experimentation, and I think it kicks it up a notch for them to compete with each other. They really seem to be having fun, and they want to put on a great show for the audience.

For women, or at least with my experience in the pageant system, it involves a different aspect of “facade.” I was only 20 when I won Miss America. I’m from a small town in Arkansas, and I’d been on an airplane only one time before I arrived in Atlantic City. I was very focused and determined, but I had no idea, really, about who I was. It was more about being perfect. There was no experimentation – it was all about conforming to the Miss America ideal. No one told me that Miss America was a persona – “that I didn’t have to actually be perfect. I bought into the whole thing and really tried to be something impossible. It took me years of therapy to recover and just be myself!

Did you get a sense from these three men that being in the Miss Gay America pageant system was a bonding experience or purely competitive?

There must be a little of both when it comes to the men who compete in the MGA system. My experience with their world is pretty limited, but I assume that, just like in the women’s version of pageants, there is a little of everything going on! Competition, bonding, frustration, cattiness…I’m sure it is all there during the process.

Up until this past year, I had been away from the Miss America system for a very long time. I’ve had no interest, other than watching the pageant on television, in being involved with it. It is frustrating to me that women have to compete in swimsuits for a scholarship prize. It doesn’t make sense to me. I think it’s an outdated concept and one that I don’t support. There should be better ways of providing educational scholarships to young women.

However, just this past year, I’ve become friends with a group of former Miss Americas. We had a wonderful rendezvous in the Santa Barbara wine country. I got to know them – we got to share our strange, mutual experience of wearing the crown and what that year entailed for us. We are all very different, and our lives have taken divergent paths, but we still share that one experience. The stories of how we got there, how we felt about ourselves and how it changed our lives are all very different as well. It was one of the best weekends I have ever spent. I’ve made friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

Did you ever see the rule book for Miss Gay America? Or Job Summary? Is there is a similar rule book for Miss America?

Wow! I just took a quick look at the rulebook for the MGA pageant. Ha! I am sure that there is something similar for the Miss A Pageant, but I don’t think that “deductions” really play a big part in the process. Miss America is more about awarding points than deducting points. That speaks to the main difference in the two pageant systems. The MGA system is all about creating the “illusion” of a woman – that entails artistry in the creation. The Miss America Pageant is more about presenting the best “you” – the most “ideal.” I’m not saying that the latter doesn’t involve skill or talent, but it is not the same objective as the MGA system.

Female impersonators and drag queens know all the tricks. Did you every pick up a beauty secret or tip from these guys or any female impersonator/drag queen?

If you see “The Damn Deal,” you’ll see that its primary goal is to pull back the curtain on the artistry of creating the illusion of “female.” The makeup and body tricks are fascinating and informative to anyone interested in theatrical makeup and presentation. 

Five Dances – The coming of age tale of a gifted young dancer.

“‘Five Dances‘ has one of the sexiest gay-male sex scenes that anyone has seen onscreen in some time.” – OUT Magazine

“Filmed with rare sensuality. A beautiful voyage!” – Premiere

“Stunningly beautiful!” – Next

Five Dances‘ is a coming-of-age tale about an extraordinarily talented young dancer (played by Broadway performer Ryan Steele in his first film role) who has recently arrived in New York City. It is a visually sensual glimpse of life and first love in the ‘downtown’ modern dance world. Shot mostly in and around a Soho dance studio, the film features original work by the internationally renowned choreographer Jonah Baeker. Writer-director Alan Brown and his cast of five of New York’s most gifted dancers capture the emotional turbulence and excitement of a small dance company during the process of creation.

Watch the trailer now.