Drag Heals is “part theater, part performance art and part group therapy”

Produced and directed by prolific writer/director/actor/author Charlie David, Drag Heals is a terrific new documentary series that follows men who have never worn heels or make-up but have always dreamed of letting their inner drag queen out to play.

These men, and aspiring queens, enter Canada’s first-ever drag class to explore how to create a compelling drag persona based around their own personalities and life experiences. Deeply persona and raw, these queens tackle prickly issues like gender identity, mental illness, heartbreak and feminism to better understand themselves and their queer experience in an otherwise straight world.

RuPaul brought “Drag Race” into the homes of millions and made the once-taboo art form mainstream. This newfound renaissance has inspired a new generation to explore the art of drag and challenge the constructs of gender.

While “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a competition, Drag Heals is much more of a journey. For most of the participants, this experience is akin to a second coming out process – and the workshops end with a public performance where they each have to face down their fears of stepping into the limelight.

The show gives viewers unparalleled access to the creation of a performance that is more than just your average lip sync. The classes are structured so that the men must reveal their true selves in preparation for their public performance. In order to do it, they must be brave and vulnerable. As performance time draws near, the urgency to create a compelling piece forces them to face down their nerves and personal demons in order to deliver a quality performance for people who have shelled out money to see just that.

The full first season of Drag Heals is now available on Dekkoo! Watch the trailer below.

 

 

 

The romantic gay classic Come Undone still holds up almost 20 years later

Gorgeous bronzed bodies on the beaches of southern France and a passionate romance between two French teens are reason enough to see Come Undone, but this bittersweet, turn-of-the-millennium gay classic also has some profound things to say about the heartbreak of gay first love.

Eighteen-year-old Mathieu (Jérémie Elkaïm) is vacationing at the beach with his family when he meets local teen Cedric (Stéphane Rideau). After an extremely erotic kiss, the boys begin a hot and heavy affair, complete with skinny-dipping at night, nude dancing on the beach and intense lovemaking in the dunes. Yet as Mathieu grapples with his sexuality – and copes with his sick mother, absent father and a characteristically annoying little kid sister – his bond with Cedric grows stronger… until, like so many first loves before and since, it bursts.

Released to critical acclaim in 2000, Come Undone, directed and co-written by Sebastien Lifshitz, beautifully conveys Mathieu’s coming-of-age (a scene in which he comes out to his mother is still quite moving almost 20 years later). Both lead actors, Stéphane Rideau and Jérémie Elkaïm, are incredibly charismatic and give remarkable performances as the affectionate teens.

If you’ve never seen it before – or are just looking to dip your toes back in – Dekkoo has you covered. Come Undone is available now.

Don’t miss the scorching new thriller Sunburn

As the summer sun beams down on a gorgeous modern villa in the countryside of Portugal, a close-knit group of forty-something friends meets for a relaxing weekend by the pool. The group consists of Joana (Oceana Basílio), the stunningly beautiful lone female, and Francisco (Nuno Pardal), the man with whom she is planning to have a child; Vasco (Ricardo Pereira), a romantic looking to settle down into a committed relationship; and Simao (Richard Barbosa), a writer whose latest screenplay borrows heavily from their real lives.

Their peaceful camaraderie is soon upended, however, by a phone call from David, a former friend, previously ostracized by the group, who seems to have left a strong and lasting impression on each of them. After a long absence, he’s back in town and planning to stop by. It’s at this point that Sunburn, the newest film from writer-director Vicente Alves do Ó, begins to ramp up the dread and morph into a intriguing mystery. A reckoning, of some sort, is coming. What happened between David and the rest of the group to inspire such mixed emotions?

With a diverse writing background in film, television and theater, Vicente Alves do Ó became known in his country for creating successful biopics of some of Portugal’s most outcast poets. After his three first features, his 2017 film Al Berto (also available on Dekkoo) took him in a new direction, focusing on the LGBTQ themes. With a stellar cast and an eye for gorgeous compositions, Sunburn is a masterful addition to his already impressive resume.

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

 

New This Week – 3/8/19

Four friends meet for a weekend by the pool, when a sudden call disrupts the quietness of the hot countryside, an unexpected guest is coming for dinner. Soon, old wounds and old dreams, thought to be forgotten, start to resurface. ‘Sunburn’ is available to stream exclusively on Dekkoo right now!

Passions re-ignite and secrets revealed when a graphic designer reconnects with the great, lost love of his life for a weekend tryst at a house in the desert near Joshua Tree. Watch ‘Lazy Eye’ now on Dekkoo!

When a jock comes out as gay to his closest friends, each of the bros has a different reaction to the big news. Will their friendship win over discrimination? Watch the gay short film ‘Dudes’ on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Clive Owen stars as Max, a promiscuous gay man living in 1930s Berlin.

Cinema Spotlight: Taekwondo

You can almost smell (See? Taste? Feel? Hear?) the testosterone coming off of the screen in Taekwondo, a bro-tastic hang-out movie from prolific queer directors Marco Berger and Martin Farina.

The cast of Taekwondo

In a beautiful country house in a chic suburb of Buenos Aires, Fernando (Lucas Papa) and his assortment of rowdy buddies are having a “boys only” weekend. Disconnected from the outside world, they do little more than bask in the hot sun, play in the swimming pool, smoke pot and drink – naked or half-naked pretty much the entire time.

Lucas Papa and Gabriel Epstein in Taekwondo

Fernando has decided to shake things up this weekend by inviting a newcomer. The new fella is Germán (Gabriel Epstein), a close friend from Fernando’s martial arts class. Germán is quickly welcomed into the group. Fernando doesn’t realize, though, that Germán is attracted to men. Little by little, the two dudes get more intimate and the simmering sexual tension hits a boiling point.

Lucas Papa and Gabriel Epstein in Taekwondo

Assembling one of the hottest casts in gay movie history, director Marco Berger (the man behind Absent, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile) and Farina (Fulboy) have outdone themselves. Thought the romance is undoubtedly of the slow-burn variety, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen.

The cast of Taekwondo

Taekwondo is available now on Dekkoo. You can watch the trailer below. The films Absent, Hawaii, Sexual Tension: Volatile and Fulboy are also all available now if you find yourself craving more of this directing pair’s sizzling style.

 

Now Available: Lazy Eye

In Lazy Eye, Dean (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe), a graphic designer living in Los Angeles, notices a sudden change in his vision. Around the same time, Alex (Aaron Costa Ganis), an ex-lover from 15 years prior, contacts him unexpectedly in hopes of rekindling their relationship.

When the two meet at a vacation house in the desert near Joshua Tree, secrets are revealed and passions are rekindled that threaten to upend both of their lives. Forty-eight hours later, neither will ever be the same.

Written and directed by Tim Kirkman, the Emmy, Gotham, GLAAD and Independent Spirit Award-nominee behind Dear Jesse, Loggerheads and The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, Lazy Eye is a thoughtful and thoroughly sexy romance about roads not taken, unfinished business… and the struggle of adjusting to progressive lenses.

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

Short Film Spotlight: Getting Off

Getting off clients is easy. Getting off to a new start isn’t.

Jonathan Rentler in Getting Off

In the provocative new 34-minute short film Getting Off, Dane (Jonathan Rentler), a recent college graduate living in New York City, reflects on his time working as an escort to pay his way through school… all while he prepares to take his first real job in another city.

Jonathan Rentler and Lee Baptiste in Getting Off

Before he leaves, Dane decides to pay his dearest client, Harris (Paul Walling), one last visit. Harris, a sweet middle aged man, has been paying Dane for sex and companionship during Dane’s time in school. As the reality of their last time together sets in, the two men recount their history together and discover that getting off to a new start – apart from one another and their “maybe not just strictly business” relationship – might be more difficult than either of them had ever imagined.

Paul Walling and Jonathan Rentler in Getting Off

A New York University senior thesis project from writer/director Tommy Craven, Getting Off rises above its status as a student film. Edgy and sexually explicit, though never thoughtlessly so, the film explores an unusual relationship on the margins, but doesn’t cheat us on the humanity or deeply-felt emotions.

Getting Off Original Poster Artwork

Watch the trailer for Getting Off below. The full short is available to watch now on Dekkoo.