The Importance of Organic Queerness in Single Record

For Dekkoo viewers who have not yet watched Single Record, watch out! There are some minor spoilers ahead.

Still from Single Record

Single Record is a six-episode documentary-style series that follows an up-and-coming rapper named Aaron Hunter as he navigates the rocky road of the New York music industry. Along with a killer soundtrack, the show’s cast puts on a spectacularly engaging performance that will keep viewers engrossed as they watch Aaron teeter between the brink of stardom and tragedy.

Watching Single Record was refreshing for many reasons. For one, this great show features a nearly all-black cast. This is monumental for queer kids of color who don’t often get to see people who look like them on the screen. It’s no secret that when it comes to queer film and TV, there’s usually a focus on thin, white gays or twinks. But the queer community is so much more diverse than that, and Single Record is a great reminder of the importance of representation.

Still from Single Record

The other reason Single Record stood out for me was its approach to its queer content. The mainstream media has only recently given queer people room to strut their stuff, but their roles in these stories can sometimes come off as forced or cliché. Often, we see queer people playing the token gay best friend or forced into a role where it seems as if the writers all gathered together and said, “You know what would be fun? A gay person!” While roles like these are still important and no doubt make a difference in the fight for representation, they can feel a bit contrived. When this happens, we are given some pretty flat characters that seem less like real people and more like stereotypes. What these characters often lack is an authenticity that seems reserved only for the straight characters. Why is that? Because the straight characters aren’t being constrained to a pre-conceptualized storyline determined by their sexuality.

Still from Single Record

Just like straight people, queer individuals are multifaceted and have a lot more to them than just being queer. But when it comes to roles in mainstream media, it seems like the only screen time queer people get feature the same old story arcs over and over again to the point where it all feels recycled. Single Record, however, is a great antithesis to this vicious circle of tired tropes. In the show, we are first introduced to Aaron as the talented rapper that he is. His queerness doesn’t even come into play until the second episode when he and Harmon share a kiss late night at the studio. And even long after that kiss, the show doesn’t rely on Aaron’s sexuality. Rather, it allows a queer character to navigate the ups and downs of his life as any normal person would.

Still from Single Record

You can see the organic chemistry for yourself right here on Dekkoo. Stream Single Record here!

New To Dekkoo – 5/3/19

At the suggestion of a straight friend, gay man Leo joins a men’s group, where he causes some upsets by declaring his attraction to one of its members. Watch ‘Bedrooms & Hallways’ now on Dekkoo!

A couple on the verge of separation explore the fear of being single. The gay short film ‘Circles’ is now available on Dekkoo!

This colorful and sexy feel-good musical comedy follows Paul and Eddie, two hot young actors staring in a stage play that adds a healthy dose of homo-eroticism to the story of Genesis. As the two young performers dive deeper into their roles, their love lives start to mirror the themes they’re dealing with in the play. Watch ‘The Big Gay Musical’ now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Required viewing for anyone who believes in equal rights for all. – The Apollo Guide

The gay classic Bedrooms and Hallways comes home to Dekkoo

Released in 1999 (a busy year for gay cinema that included Boys Don’t Cry, Better Than Chocolate, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Trick, among others) Bedrooms and Hallways was writer-director Rose Troche’s long-awaited follow-up to her 1994 indie sensation Go Fish. This film proved a complete departure from her lesbian milestone: a hilarious comedy set in London about the tangled love affairs of a gay man.

Failed romantic Leo (Trainspotting co-star Kevin McKidd) is just hitting thirty. His kitschy roommate Darren (Tom Hollander) only reminds him of what he’s missing, merrily touting Darren’s frequent, illicit meetings with a lusty real estate agent (Hugo Weaving). So with nothing to lose, Leo joins a men’s group to bond with his fellow males and get his mind off romance. However, the latter notion didn’t account for sexy straight Irishman Brendan (James Purefoy). But wait… is Brendan straight? For that matter, is Leo? Life is never as black and white as it seems, especially after Leo and his group go on a drum-thumping, chest-banging camping retreat where a snarl of love triangles and jealousy explodes.

Colorful production design, glossy production values and an energetic ensemble cast (including Simon Callow and Jennifer Ehle) contribute to the lighthearted proceedings, of which Hollander takes the cake. Darren’s snippy dialogue and misinformed sexual antics are a true highlight.

Two decades ago this year, before she became one of the masterminds behind The L Word, Rose Troche rattled the straight/gay/bi boundary lines and shook the sexual tree. The result is a knee-slapping spoof of gay life at the turn of the millennium and the New Age movement, as well as a witty and prescient send-up of any and all rigid notions of sexuality.

Bedrooms and Hallways is now available to stream on Dekkoo.

 

Get Out meets Grindr in The Skin of the Teeth

Get Out meets Grindr in The Skin of the Teeth, a sinister new drama-thriller from writer-director Matthew Wollin, who evokes the feel of a contemporary film noir.

Pascal Arquimedes and Donal Brophy in The Skin of the Teeth

When Josef (Pascal Arquimedes) arrives at John’s (Donal Brophy) apartment for a date, their prickly energy slowly gives way to an unusual and genuine chemistry. But after Josef swallows a pill with unclear effects, the night starts to take a shocking turn.

Chuja Seo in The Skin of the Teeth

Josef is suddenly plunged into a surreal world where he is forced into a literal and figurative interrogation of just who and what he is.

Pascal Arquimedes in The Skin of the Teeth

While evoking the surreal work of David Lynch, this wild new film examines race, sex, love and identity in a mind-bending way – and the lead performance will keep you holding your breath from beginning to end.

Pascal Arquimedes in The Skin of the Teeth

The Skin of the Teeth is now available on Dekkoo. Check out the trailer below.

New This Week – 4/26/19

When Josef arrives at John’s apartment for a date, their prickly energy slowly gives way to genuine chemistry. But after swallowing a pill with mind-bending effects, Josef quickly slides helplessly down a rabbit hole of temporal sleight-of-hand, plunged into a surreal interrogation of everything he is. ‘The Skin of the Teeth’ is streaming exclusively on Dekkoo!

Avery D. Wilson is a confident and conscientious pillar of his community…but it wasn’t always that way. In this powerful short doc, Wilson reflects on his troubled childhood, reckoning with the conflicts between sexuality, faith and family and growing up to become “Mr. United States.” Stream the gay short, ‘Mr. United States’ now on Dekkoo!

Upon the death of his mother, a gay man in blue collar America returns to his childhood home. There he discovers a cardboard time machine that he made when he was a boy. As he uses it to get glimpses of his future, he ponders the weight of his life’s choices. Dekkoo Films is proud to present ‘How to Get From Here to There’ streaming now, only on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: “Seldom has blasphemy been so entertaining…” – Variety

Short Film Spotlight: Writhing

“I’ve been putting it off for so long, it’s almost funny how easy that was.”

“Yeah, I know, right? You think in the back of your head it’s gonna be this intense thing and it’s literally like 15 seconds.”

“Nobody tells you that.”

Elizabeth B. Bates and Reed Alvarado in Writhing

Part work of ethereal realism, part dance film, the twelve-minute short Writhing follows a young man facing the probability of a positive HIV diagnosis. Writer-director Robert John Torres (who also co-stars as a supportive clinic counselor) takes us through the process. While the film doesn’t provide any easy answers, it does offer a great deal of compassion.

Everett (Reed Alvarado), a young gay man, is “pretty certain” that he has contracted HIV. However, he has been mentally and emotionally unwilling to bring himself in for testing. Finally working up the courage, he confesses his fear to a friend (Elizabeth B. Bates). He wants to go alone, finally ready to face the truth.

Reed Alvarado in Writhing

Torres has a wide variety of visual tricks up his sleeve, perfectly deployed the convey Everett’s uneasy emotions. Vape smoke frequently crowds the frame, standing as a metaphor for the lead character’s hazy uncertainty. There’s also a man (Keanu Uchida), credited as “humanoid figure” who gives meaning to the film’s title. Clad in a leather harness with pink skin, he dances, contorts and literally writhes on Everett’s bed in a perpetual state of unrest. His presence creates a strange juxtaposition with the seemingly ordinary West Coast suburban neighborhood we see out the window.

Clearly, not everything is alright with Everett at this moment… but it will be again (regardless of the results of his test).

Keanu Uchida in Writhing

Writhing is now available to stream on Dekkoo.

Writhing - Original Poster Artwork

 

The Falls: Covenant of Grace concludes a powerful romantic trilogy

The third and final installment of a beloved romantic trilogy, The Falls: Covenant of Grace, originally released in 2016, follows The Falls (2012) and The Falls: Testament of Love (2013) in telling the story of two former Mormon missionaries who fell in not-so-easy-to-maintain love.

RJ Smith (Nick Ferrucci) and Chris Merril (Benjamin Farmer) were once practically poster boys for the Mormon Church: they were both Eagle Scouts with perfect academic records and pretty girlfriends. But once it came time to serve a mission and experience the Mormon rite of passage, things changed. They were paired up together… and fell in love. The strict restrictions of the Church, however, would keep them apart for some time.

Covenant of Grace picks up with their story many years later. RJ and Chris have been growing closer. Chris, now divorced but still an active member of the LDS church, lives in Salt Lake City with his young daughter. RJ has moved to Portland, and is a successful writer.

Chris takes a weekend trip to visit RJ in Portland, but their burgeoning relationship is thrown for a loop when the LDS church announces a ban against baptisms for children of same sex couples. They are divided about how to handle the announcement, and what it means for their relationship and their faith.

Even though he still has faith, RJ would rather just be done with the Church, but Chris is not ready to let it go. Chris goes home with the issue of their relationship still unresolved.
But when Chris’ mother unexpectedly dies, RJ drops everything to fly to Salt Lake City and be there for the man he so passionately, painfully loves.

After RJ returns home to Portland he struggles with his feelings about the Church and
Chris. With the help of his friends, he begins to gain some clarity about his priorities. At the same time, Chris is just beginning to understand that he doesn’t have to choose between God and love.

Don’t miss this powerful, romantic and deeply compassionate film – now available on Dekkoo.