DEKKOO DISPATCH 051 – ‘LOGGERHEADS’

Title – ‘Loggerheads

Director – Tim Kirkman

Starring – Kip Pardue, Michael Kelly, Tess Harper, Adrian Lee

Release Date – 2005

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Merry post-Christmas everyone! I hope everyone got that special gift (:cough: sling :cough:) you had on your wish list. I got one of those nifty VR thingys which has been fun to play with. I have yet to watch any Dekkoo films on it, but that’s definitely in the future! Last week I recommended ‘Make the Yuletide Gay‘ to watch with your family as the perfect Christmas movie and this week since I figure many of you are still with family I’d recommend another good movie to watch with the fam.

Before ‘Brokeback Mountain’ set the world on fire in 2005 there was a smaller film called ‘Loggerheads‘ that made quite a splash via the Sundance Film Festival and Outfest where it won the grand prize. Following three characters and their search for inner-fulfillment Tim Kirkman’s third film is a quiet yet stunning piece of filmmaking. The three main characters from a sort of triangle:

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Mark – A handsome drifter, Mark sleeps on the beaches of Kure Beach where loggerhead turtles come to bury their eggs. An activist of sorts, he does his best to make sure tourists don’t inadvertently kill the turtles. After he meets George, an owner of a motel in the area, he begins a romance made more complicated by his relationship with his non-accepting family and his HIV status. The uber-sexy Kip Pardue plays the role of Mark who’s been in tons of films including ‘The Rules of Attraction‘!

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Elizabeth – “I know that it’s hard to be the wife of a preacher” is spoken to Elizabeth at one point in the film and for me that pretty much spelled out the difficulty she has going through her life. Elizabeth’s life is ruled by the church and her husband’s unwavering belief in the bible. That’s why she no longer talks about her gay adopted son Mark and why she becomes very nervous when a new family moves in across the street who could be gay. I believe Elizabeth is the one that makes the most progress in the film – she appears to give up several times, but something within her always pushes her to re-visit an emotion that defeated her once before.

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Grace – Now midway through her life the one decision she constantly regrets is giving up her child to adoption. She sees her son in so many people passing by on the street that she decides that it’s time to find him so she can find some peace within herself. Grace quits her dead-end customer service job to move back in with her mother and begins the search for her son. Grace is a character that you really feel for in the movie. Her mother convinced her that giving up her baby would have been good for the future, but now that she realizes that her future isn’t so great she pines for the life that she could have had as a mother. It’s also great to see Bonnie Hunt (‘Jumanji’!) in such a touching role.

The way that the movie cuts all three of these storylines together really elevates the film to another level where you feel connected to all of these characters. I also love the fact that all of these plot lines take place in small towns. It’s charming and gives the film a boost of authenticity that city films can lack. I hope you get lost in the romantic, longing, and intense spiritual feeling of hope that ‘Loggerheads‘ imparts.

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Watch it with: Family & Friends

Mix it with: A White Wine

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 050 – ‘MAKE THE YULETIDE GAY’

Title – ‘Make the Yuletide Gay

Director – Rob Williams

Starring – Keith Jordan, Adamo Ruggiero, Hallee Hirsh, Kelly Keaton

Release Date – 2009

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It’s that time of the year again folks. Time to take out all those ornaments and take down a few of the more racy photographs you’ve got hanging on your walls before your parents show up. The holidays have always been friend and foe to the gay community. While we’ve been able to make the best of them by celebrating the season with friends and lovers it also reminds us that we sometimes can’t be with our families because we’ve been kicked out or ostracized. Luckily things have been getting a lot better (especially for younger gays) and our families have started to accept the idea that Christmas can include handsome hunks in love.

That’s the topic of this week’s CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Dekkoo Dispatch! The straights have ‘A Christmas Story’, but we’ve got ‘Make the Yuletide Gay‘ to… make the Yuletide gay-er? I mean let’s face it. Christmas is pretty darn gayyy. You’re decorating a tree, wearing silly sweaters, making eggnog cocktails, and waiting for a stranger to come into your house in the middle of the night to give you a ‘gift’. These are all homosexual activities that the straights have claimed in the name of Christmas! But I digress…

Make the Yuletide Gay‘ has been a yearly holiday viewing tradition for many homosexuals I know since it came out in 2009. It’s universal tale of acceptance, love, and family-above-all attitude is exactly the kind of vision of Christmas that we all hope becomes a reality for everyone. The story revolves around the adorable couple of Olaf (aka Gunn) and Nathan. In school they’re completely out and proud. Olaf even sports an HRC t-shirt at the beginning of the film. Snazzy! For winter break they head their separate ways with Olaf travelling to his family in the Midwest and Nathan going on a cruise with his parents. Once we arrive there we quickly realize that Olaf, while out in school, is definitely not out to his family. Of course there’s a twist – Nathan suddenly shows up on his doorstep without knowing he’s still in the closet. Thus begins a movie full of the comedy of hiding in plain sight.

I say hiding in plain sight because a lot of the movie’s comedy plays on the parents being a little ‘thick’. The mother, played by Kelly Keaton, is so gosh darn adorable and nice. While watching her I couldn’t help but think of Stephanie McVay in ‘The Edge of Seventeen’. She’s the ideal Christmas mother: constantly baking cookies, making hot cocoa, and telling embarrassing stories about her son to his boyfriend. The father, played by Derek Long, is a stereotypical ex-hippy stoner professor. He’s extremely calm, rational, yet also completely out of it. Thus jokes made by Nathan about usually taking the ‘top’ bunk fly right over their heads to hilarious result. The other character I should mention is Abby. She’s the next-door neighbor that Olaf’s parents are trying to set him up with. Awkwardness definitely ensues.

This is absolutely a perfect movie to watch with just about anyone, but especially your mostly-accepting to totally-accepting family over the holidays. It’s definitely PG to PG-13 so you won’t have to worry about your mother fainting over a sex scene.

We at Dekkoo wish you all the best over the holidays and we’d be remiss not to remind you that the gift of Dekkoo is a totally amazing present for any gay, young or old.

 

 

 

 

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Watch it with: Family, Friends, Aliens, you name it!

Mix it with: Spiked Eggnog

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 040 – ‘A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE’

Title – ‘A Closer Walk With Thee

Director – John C. Clark, Brie Williams

Starring – Aj Knight, Gregory Shelby, Kelsey Boze, Megan Hensley

Release Date – 2017

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Lordy, lordy look what just turned 40! The Dekkoo Dispatch! We’re officially into daddy territory now and couldn’t be happier… We’re still butt deep in Halloween season so it’s time for another blood-curdling gay horror film to spice up your week courtesy of your friends at Dekkoo 😉

Last week we took you to Spain and into the minds of queer killers with ‘In A Glass Cage‘. This week we’re heading to Los Angeles where four Evangelical missionaries live together and work to convert the agnostic (that means they’re heathens sweetie) neighborhood they’ve set up shop in. Dubbed as a ‘Homoerotic Evangelical Exorcism Film’ – ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ is a devious piece of low-budget horror filmmaking with some great acting and some very lusty set pieces.

Aj Knight stars as Jordan, a simple missionary trying to do God’s work, but unfortunately gets distracted by Eli, the handsome pastor leading the mission. When Jordan is caught masturbating to Eli’s naked self in the shower the group gradually starts exploring the theory that his homosexual urges could be the work of a demon possessing his body and soul. The movie is full of awesome sexual awkwardness between the two and once it gets to the exorcism scenes you’ll definitely be enjoying yourself.

The directors (a gay and a lesbian! super awesome!) explain why they made the film: “We began ‘A Closer Walk With Thee with a basic idea: a religious horror film depicting ‘gay-conversion’ exorcisms, a fringe practice within the Evangelical community that has been growing steadily in recent years. We wanted to take the already emotionally charged experience of coming out of the closet and place it in an even more heightened environment  — amidst a group of fundamentalist young people living together in a house church performing exorcisms on their fledgling congregation.

As the story began to take shape, it became the story of one character, Jordan, experiencing a struggle that so many people face: being in a deadlocked battle between desire and religious conviction. The journey of the film is his journey — at first quietly uncomfortable, increasingly disorienting, guilt drenched, and ultimately madness-inducing. What started off as an idea to make a fun, weird religious horror had developed into a more complex drama/genre film, and it was one that we were excited to explore.”

Whenever I can invite a guest analyst to take a more academic approach to a film on Dekkoo I make sure to and this week I managed to snag one of the biggest contributors (both in filmmaking and with wild appreciation) to the world of Queer Horror, Michael Varrati who has this take on the film: “Amid lingering shots of male physicality and heightened sequences of youthful lust, ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ expertly threads an ever encroaching sense of unease throughout its narrative. By showcasing the schism caused when rigid ideology and primal desire clash under the same roof, the film exponentially magnifies that sense of unease felt by queer individuals forced into situations wherein they are not able to be their true and authentic selves.

More so, the film never goes out of its way to directly condemn the actions of the missionaries, and a gruesome, supernatural third act lends itself to a morally gray read of the movie overall. Perhaps though, this is A Closer Walk With Thee’s greatest strength as a horror film. Rather than visit the terror onto one individual, none are entirely absolved from the evil inhabiting their world. Shocking, thoughtful, and subversively sexy, ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ is the kind of movie that makes you want to free yourself from sin…if only so you may sin again.”

 

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Watch it with: Friends that love sexy men and scary movies

Mix it with: Sacramental wine blessed by your local sexy priest

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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 033 – ‘TONIGHT IT’S YOU’ AND ‘SEBASTIANE’

Title – ‘Sebastiane

Director – Paul Humfress, Derek Jarman

Starring – Leonardo Treviglio, Barney James, Neil Kennedy, Richard Warwick

Release Date – 1976

Title – ‘Tonight It’s You

Director – Dominic Haxton

Starring – Jake Robbins, Roy Allen III, George Alvarez, Ian Lerch

Release Date – 2016

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Well boys, it’s almost the end of summer and to celebrate/mourn we’ve got two films that will help to make the transition as smooth as possible.

To celebrate the coming of fall (which in turn means Halloween!) we’re premiering the Dominic Haxton (‘We Are Animals‘ ‘Tonight It’s Me‘) directed horror-themed short film ‘Tonight It’s You‘! It’s always fantastic when there’s a new entry into the very deserted category of Queer Horror and ‘Tonight It’s You‘ is a 17-minute sexy thrill ride through hookup app anxiety, intimacy, and religion. What starts off as a hot hookup for CJ in the woods turns into a fight for his life by the end of the film. I was lucky enough to see this film on the big screen and holy shittttt I was so surprised at just how scared I was. Definitely check this out!

And if you’re the type that’s clinging onto summer well then have no fear because shirtless soldiers speaking Latin are here! Enter the world of ‘Sebastiane‘ – an incredibly homo-erotic take on the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian by filmmakers Paul Humfress and Derek Jarman. While you might not have heard of the former, the latter is an incredibly influential and important director in the world of Queer Cinema. Derek Jarman passed away of AIDS in 1994, but left behind an incredible array of cinema and art. His most successful film was ‘Caravaggio’, but his other films such as the experimental film ‘Blue’ (1993 – A film where the only video is a blue screen and the audio is a series of voices including the director’s describing his failing health [he’d gone partially blind at that point]) and the gay-activism themed ‘Edward II’ (1991) are all incredible achievements and works of true art.

Sebastiane‘ follows the Roman soldier Sebastianus who after falling out of the emperor’s favors is exiled to a remote garrison of soldiers to work. What follows is fellow soldiers falling over themselves with their lust for Sebastiane, lots of whipping, and bros being bros around the campfire. The movie definitely has strengths and weaknesses. The idea to have all the actors speak Latin was very academic and happened years before ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Also you can definitely see the early stages of Derek Jarman’s fascination with placing contemporary fashions and objects in an era where it sticks out like a sore thumb. The men are also extremely sexy and naked practically the whole time. Probably my only critique of it is that it does meander a bit. It shows its age in that because it was made for a gay audience that was desperate for this kind of overt homo-erotic sexuality in a film, the filmmakers were more concerned with that then with plot and they figured their audience would have the same feelings.

Regardless ‘Sebastiane‘ is a work of art and deserves to be watched with that in mind while at the same time observing the beginnings of Derek Jarman’s storied film career.

 

 

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Watch ’em with: A friend who likes to be scared and watch artsy films

Mix it with: A red wine

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 017 – ‘SPRING’ AND ‘IN THE NAME OF’

Title – ‘Spring

Director – Hong Khaou

Starring – Jonathan Keane, Chris O’Donnell

Release Date – January 22, 2011

Title – ‘In The Name Of

Director – Malgoska Szumowska

Starring – Andrzej Chyra, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Maja Ostaszewska, Lukasz Simlat

Release Date – September 20, 2013

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Hey Dekkoo-ers! Hope your week is going swell. I’ve got two great flicks to talk about today, both with an inter-generational theme.

‘Will it hurt?’ asks the youth nervously to the camera. ‘Yeah it can’ replies the older and much more confident man sitting across the table at the cafe. Thus begins the movie ‘Spring‘, a short film about sadomasochism and Sub/Dom role-play. It’s a fantastically shot short film by Hong Khaou, the director of ‘Lilting’ and an intriguing investigation into a young man’s mind as he explore fetishes he’s only dreamt of. Definitely a short film you won’t want to miss!

A funny side-note about this film is that most of it was shot in a room that caused a bit of a scandal way back because ‘The King’s Speech’ was shot in it along with a gay porn film!

Alright after you’ve taken a bit of a break :ahem: post-‘Spring‘ it’s time to sit down with ‘In The Name Of‘. It’s a beautiful, poetic film centering on a country priest in Poland dealing with his repressed sexuality. The film deals with heavy issues, but spreads it out to great effect with sensitivity and beauty.

After having just been transferred from another parish, Adam sets up shop in the sleepy little town by opening up a halfway house for wayward youth. The rules are simple: work hard and don’t get into trouble. Adam is able to start a family in a way with these young men and seems to be really happy early on in the film. But just when everything seems to be going well a new boy joins the ranks who senses Adam’s growing relationship with Lukasz (whose looks draw an obvious correlation with Jesus Christ) and decides to shake things up amongst the guys.

The film really comes together in the final act so I definitely recommend staying with it through the admittedly slow first half. If you need motivation there’s plentyyyy of half-naked guys throughout the film. Right when the song ‘The Funeral’ by Band of Horses started playing over a religious procession through the country-side was when the movie really coalesced for me and became magical from that point on.

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Watch ’em with: Your local gay-friendly (or just plain gay) priest

Mix ’em with: Wine blessed by said priest

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‘Godless’ tackles the taboo topic of sibling passion

The film ‘Godless‘ was added to the Dekkoo library this week. It’s a film that deals with a taboo topic using intelligence and sensitivity. It screened at numerous film festivals around the country and comes from director Joshua Lim who also directed ‘The Seminarian‘.

After the death of their father, Nate (Craig Jordan) moves in with his mother, but his elder brother, Steven (Michael E. Pitts) continues his studies out of state. The brothers use this distance to end the incestuous physical affair they’ve shared since puberty. However, when their mother dies in a car accident, Steven returns for her funeral. During this time of mourning, the two brothers’ unrelenting love for each other threatens the secret they had buried.

Nathaniel Grey for Frontiers Media said, ‘What carries this film is that through the chemistry and performances of Jordan and Pitts, you want to know more about them. You wonder how have they retained their sanity and composure over the years while holding strong to their forbidden but shared love.’

He goes on to say, ‘…the film provides a great opportunity to experience a rarely offered and controversial topic.’

Godless’ is now playing on Dekkoo!