New This Week – 7/28/17

cca9196f-1c00-462a-a5d0-6bbb583b2874-e8093a7d

In ‘I Killed My Mother‘ a cute gay teen’s fiery relationship with his mother drives this audacious, comedic debut from 20-year-old writer-producer-director-star Xavier Dolan.

7ffe3c70-b72c-43a9-a3d8-3d3353e255f6-60b565cd

In ‘Vito‘, filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz pays tribute to Vito Russo, a founding father of the gay liberation movement, author of “The Celluloid Closet,” and vociferous AIDS activist in the 1980s.

073e0c65-07de-49a3-b507-3c924b103e65-1364971a

A young drifter searches for a connection on the streets of Los Angeles, trying to understand his place in the world, and wondering who’ll remember him when he’s gone. Watch ‘The Happy Ones’ now on Dekkoo.com.

7b6d7d68-0947-421a-87ef-7f138c5f9bbb-fce130fd

Starring Big Brother contestant Will Wikle, ‘The Stillest Hour‘ is a twisted new take on the psycho-sexual thriller that explores the power of perception and reality.

_____________________________________

Coming next week: An Irish reality web series, following the lives of 7, 20-something, friends living in Barcelona.

DEKKOO DISPATCH 028 – ‘VITO’

Title – ‘Vito

Director – Jeffrey Schwartz

Release Date – 2011

______________________

Today we at Dekkoo are paying tribute to Vito Russo: activist, author, academic, film fanatic, and most importantly a friend and father-figure to every LGBTQ member of our community. Jeffrey Schwartz’s 2011 film ‘Vito‘ is a stirring tribute to this legendary trailblazer of queer cinema and HIV/AIDS activism.

Growing up and browsing the shelves at Blockbuster I’d always walk by a tattered old looking DVD entitled ‘The Celluloid Closet’. Once I finally had made my way through most of the sexy films I’d been dying to rent I finally checked it out one night. The amount of queer stories that had to be hidden underneath various guises through time was sobering of what I had been accustomed to given my young age. ‘The Celluloid Closet’ was based on Vito Russo’s novel of the same name published in 1981 with the subtitle “Homosexuality in the Movies”. It woke people up to queer tropes like the predatory lesbian and the sissy homosexual. Vito truly believed that these tropes were perpetuating the oppression of gay people and that media needed to change in order for society to change. Vito wasn’t just sitting at home writing though. He went on college tours lecturing about his work and about queer cinema in general.

After publishing ‘The Celluloid Closet’ Vito Russo went on to form the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. That’s right, Vito Russo formed GLAAD! They’re the ones that to this day keep a very close eye on everything happening in media around the world and hold them accountable for their actions. And as much as I get annoyed with how much they hit me up for cash, they’ve done some great stuff like issuing a Studio Responsibility Index that ranks the major Hollywood studios by the quantity, quality, and content of LGBTQ representation in the films they produce.

Vito also left a big imprint on HIV/AIDS activism in the 80s through his involvement in the Gay Activists Alliance & ACT UP, his creation of a gay TV series called ‘Our Time’, and his participation in the 1989 Academy Award-winning documentary ‘Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt’. He told the story of his lover Jeffrey Sevcik who passed away from his battle with AIDS. The directors of ‘Our Time’ are Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman. Besides directing masterpieces like ‘The Times of Harvey Milk’ and ‘Word is Out’ they also were the ones to lovingly direct ‘The Celluloid Closet’ after Vito had passed away from his own battle with AIDS.

I’ve left you with a very basic skeleton of what Vito Russo did with his life, but when you watch ‘Vito‘ you’ll actually see his whole body and hopefully see even deeper.

____________________________

Watch it with:  A group of friends who appreciate gay heroes!

Mix it with: Beers!

____________________________

New This Week – 7/21/17

1f2fd39d-aa62-42a0-9033-9b3cd5f10ca5-a56ceb7f

Stray‘ is a brom-com in which Jay, a brash gay dude, and Rich, a nerdy straight guy, navigate sexuality and friendship in New York City. When Rich and Jay, once college buddies, reconnect after years apart, Rich discovers Jay is gay, even though Jay has been out as long as they’ve known each other. Rich’s repeated miscues earns Jay’s constant ridicule.

Don’t forget to check out our Dekkoo interview with ‘Stray’ creator Pablo Andreu!

bbb9eee6-95a1-491a-82b0-11f27a85bcfa-c8c91aa7

This revealing documentary invites you into the day-to-day lives of gay dads Scott, Steve, Randy and Drew, who are fathers through adoption, co-parenting and surrogacy. These men represent a new possibility, showing how in a modern world gay parenting can transform from a distant dream into a reality. Watch ‘Fatherhood Dreams’ on Dekkoo!

45e263aa-dc9b-4d7d-a918-6c9de80c6631-ae5cecd8

The insecurities of sexual attraction, intimacy and connection are explored in the sensual short film, ‘Last Night‘.

81b306a3-2fbd-4a9c-8188-bea9de69fc3d-4eb1ccb8

From John Greyson (‘Lilies’) comes ‘Proteus‘, a thrilling and erotic historical gay love story set in a South African penal colony during the 1720’s when sodomy was punishable by death.

_________________________________

Coming next week: “An emotionally powerful documentary portrait with an impassioned voice.” – The Hollywood Reporter

DEKKOO DISPATCH 027 – ‘PROTEUS’ AND ‘TONIGHT IT’S ME’

Title – ‘Proteus

Director – John Greyson, Jack Lewis

Starring – Brett Goldin, Jeroen Kranenburg, Rouxnet Brown, Tessa Jubber

Release Date – 2003

Title – ‘Tonight It’s Me

Director – Dominic Haxton

Starring – Neil Elliot, Caleb James, Christian Patrick, Jake Robbins

Release Date – 2014

______________________

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve added another one of Dominic Haxton’s brilliant short films to Dekkoo. ‘Tonight It’s Me‘ stars Jake Robbins who appears in 2 of Dominic’s other films (to be added in the future!) and is also the star in Robert Hawk’s super sexy short ‘Home From The Gym‘. In ‘Home’ Jake felt far away and objectified. Here he feels merely objectified which isn’t bad for us! But seriously, in ‘Tonight’ we actually get to know more of what makes a muscled hustler like him tick.

The films starts off with CJ (Jake Robbins) dealing with one his usual ‘johns’; A fat older man who can’t stop insulting him and making his life miserable. Later on CJ stops off at a new trick’s house, Ash, who with his effeminate manner and his openness about sexuality and gender strikes a chord within CJ and he begins to open up more than he has with others in the past. The film is a masterpiece in subtle characterization and the hot interplay between the two main characters is the icing on top.

At Dekkoo we’re really proud to bring queer classics to the platform and John Greyson’s ‘Proteus‘ is one of those. Greyson has been a pioneering voice in the realm of queer cinema ever since hitting it big with the HIV/AIDS musical ‘Zero Patience’ back in 1993. His signature style of Derek Jarman-esque experimental narratives mixed with historical context and a few musical numbers thrown in for good measure combine to create significant works of cinematic art that still makes the festival and art-house cinema rounds to this day.

Proteus‘ was written and co-directed with Jack Lewis and concerns two men who were SPOILER ALERT! executed for sodomy in 1735 in South Africa. Normally I hate spoilers, but this is a historical film and it’s important to understand a little bit about history in order to grasp the subtle nuances throughout the film. Furthering the issue at the time was that they were a bi-racial couple.

Claas Blank and Rijkhaart Jacobsz are the two men at the heart of this story. Both of them are prisoners on Robben Island (an island on the west coast of Cape Town where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years of his prison term). Claas is a Khoi, a native of southwestern Africa and Rijkhaart is from the Netherlands whose government had control over the so-called ‘Cape Dutch’ area until 1795 when the British stepped in. A botanist named Virgil realizes that Claas has a deep knowledge of the South African flora and puts him in charge of the prison garden. Rijkhaart becomes one of his helpers and then eventually his lover. At first their relationship is joked about and ignored, but eventually simmering tensions between some of the other prisoners and the guards becomes too much to ignore.

Greyson combines this intimate historical drama with fun quirks such as incorporating modern technology like typewriters complete with busybody secretaries that give us historical context for courtroom scenes. The scenes towards the end of the film are of course saddening, but this is the 18th century and it would be dishonest to present a ‘happily-ever-after’ scenario.

If you like this film stay tuned because there will definitely be more classic queer gems like this one to grace Dekkoo in the future!

____________________________

Watch ’em with:  A friend or two who like historical dramas.

Mix it with: A white wine.

____________________________

 

40f39a0d-7b41-4b37-bc3e-4eeaa9973f49-49344a5b.jpg

New This Week – 7/14/17

b25900cc-ef24-4230-80a6-97f4e9765456-55166dbd

After Indre, his star actress, murders her mother, rich-kid filmmaker Romas helps her plan an escape from Lithuania before she’s apprehended. He decides to make one more movie along the way with the help of his handsome Mexican boyfriend Carlos – who is reluctant to become an accomplice. ‘You Can’t Escape From Lithuania’ is now available on Dekkoo!

5928327f-d349-43b9-b3f2-439ed0be3b9a-2961eb31

In the experimental, yet erotic short film ‘OuT‘ we travel through the stages of coming ‘OuT’ with the mysterious “A”. Watch ‘OuT’ on Dekkoo!

684ed07e-57cb-4236-8f83-eb034a018b44-b11323bd

Buenos Aires in the 1980s. Detective Chavez, a family man and a tough cop, once again must solve a mysterious crime. To reveal the identity of the murderer, Chavez must clarify the enigma waiting in ambush to capture his own heart. Passion surprises even the most astute detective. What will triumph: law or desire? ‘Death In Buenos Aires’ is now available on Dekkoo!

e954d02f-c68e-4ec0-95d1-ac577736efbe-e4bd1834

When an old flame passes through town, Julian is confronted by the lingering memory of lost love. In an attempt to decipher nostalgia from his present feelings, Julian opens closed doors to explore new possibilities. ‘Sorry You’re Sad’ is a new episodic series now available on Dekkoo!

______________________________

Coming next week –  A ‘bromantic’ comedy series in which a brash gay dude a nerdy straight guy talk sex and relationships while reconnecting in New York City years after college.

 

Jane Lynch gets Emmy nomination for ‘Dropping The Soap’!

The 2017 Emmy Nominations were announced today and we’ve just learned that Jane Lynch received an Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series nomination for her performance as Olivia Vanderstein in  ‘Dropping the Soap‘.

In case you haven’t yet watched it, ‘Dropping the Soap‘ goes behind the scenes of long running (terrible) soap-opera “Collided Lives” and the desperate antics of its cast and crew. Lynch plays a ruthless new Executive Producer hired to “re-brand” the show. It’s once of the most hysterical series we’ve ever seen and we’re proud to have it as part of the Dekkoo library.

Congratulations Jane and to creators Paul Witten and Kate Mines!

Watch ‘Dropping the Soap’ on Dekkoo!