DEKKOO DISPATCH 048 – ‘THE RULES OF ATTRACTION’

Title – ‘The Rules of Attraction

Director – Roger Avary

Starring – James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel, Kip Pardue

Release Date – 2002

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On Dekkoo we’re turning our gaze to the glorious year 2002 with ‘The Rules of Attraction‘. While Ben Affleck was soaking up his Sexiest Man of the Year award from People Magazine there was another kind of sexy happening in cinemas. One involving James van der Beek from the legendary ‘Dawson’s Creek’ in an on-screen gay kiss with the smoking hot Ian Somerhalder. The film based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis (who also wrote ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Less Than Zero’ – both of which were also made into movies) follows the lives of 3 students as they make their way through the sexual angst of college.

Unlike ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Less Than Zero’, Roger Avary’s adaptation of the book actually tries to follow Ellis’ crazy narrative structures and wildly explicit views of sex and drugs. The film’s use of slow-mo, reverse motion, split-screen, and intense montage all call to mind the frenetic energy of Ellis’ visionary 1987 novel. The movie focuses on three main characters:

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Paul Denton – The gay one. The defiantly gay one I should say. Paul’s attitude towards his queerness is refreshing even to this day. He’s confident in being himself completely even if it ends in being shoved or spit on by a guy he makes a move on. Paul’s love interest in this movie is Sean Bateman who’s in love with Lauren Hynde. Oh did I not mention this was a love triangle movie?? Ah my bad. Yeah it’s a love triangle movie. Paul falls head over heels for Paul’s rugged looks, his ‘slutty’ attitude, and his devil-may-cry attitude towards almost everyone. Personally I think Paul (played by Ian Somerhalder) is the hottest character in the film. He’s constantly wearing the tightest outfits and has permanent pouty-lip syndrome. The shirtless dance scene with his friend ‘Dick’ is easily one of the highlights of the film and worth the price of admission!

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Sean Bateman – Enter the psychotic (or is he just a troubled genius?) straight character of the film. Funnily enough Sean is supposed to be Patrick Bateman’s (‘American Psycho’) little brother so it all makes sense why he’s a little unhinged. Sean’s religious views consist of sex, drugs, and more sex. Honestly he’s probably a dream boyfriend for a lot of people. Sean starts getting mysterious love letters from someone just around the time he first runs into Lauren Hynde. The two circumstances align in such a way that trigger a burst of longing and perhaps even love which he chases throughout the film. Oh and there’s a plot line involving him having to pay his drug supplier that honestly I could’ve done without. But c’est la vie!

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Lauren Hynde – Ok so Lauren is basically the sweeter version of Daria if Daria did cocaine. Lauren is probably the most grounded character of the film. She’s very much a good girl when it comes to sex, even going so far as to study venereal disease textbooks before parties to discourage hooking up. Perhaps that’s what makes the connection between Sean and Lauren so intense. Her desire to hook up with someone who has so much sex and tame him and his desire to settle down with someone so virginal.

Besides those three adorable human beings you can also look forward to:
-Early career cameos by Jay Baruchel & Kate Bosworth.
-An appearance by the legendary musician Paul Williams as a crazy doctor.
-Legendary actresses Faye Dunaway & Swoosie Kurtz in a hilariously awkward dinner scene.
-Jessica Biel!

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Watch it with: Two friends that you’re in a love triangle with

Mix it with: Beer and cocaine

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 043 – ‘COFFEE HOUSE CHRONICLES’

Title – ‘Coffee House Chronicles

Director – Stewart Wade

Starring – Chris Salvatore, Drew Droege, Max Emerson, Darryl Stephens

Release Date – 2016

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It’s movie madness at the moment in most of the big cities. Studios are starting to hype us up for awards season by pumping out their hit films into major markets. Of course the ‘big’ gay film this year is ‘Call Me By Your Name’, but I’d also highly recommend ‘BPM’ which won the Grand Prix (essentially 2nd place) at the Cannes Film Festival this year. It’s an incredibly touching and intimate look at the ACT UP movement in France in the early 90s and does a fantastic job as both a study of activism and a portrait of the tragedy of AIDS itself.

Because I’m being exhausted by all these grand Hollywood showstoppers, I decided to focus on a film that I think is a bit like chicken soup for the soul. It’s an adorable little film called ‘Coffee House Chronicles‘. It follows a cast of diverse characters looking for love, sex, and everything in between as they live their lives in the city of Los Angeles.

Originally penned as a YouTube series, the version presented on Dekkoo is a smartly edited movie version that switches back and forth between the various vignettes making it feel much grander and sophisticated than the separated counterparts. Running just over 75 minutes I found it perfect for a relaxing evening at home and was charmed time and time again by the smart writing and hilarious situations. If you’re a Dekkoo binger then you’ll also love how many familiar faces you’ll encounter in it: Drew Droege (‘Big Gay Love‘, ‘We Are Animals‘), Darryl Stephens (‘Boy Culture‘), & Chris Salvatore (‘Eating Out: All You Can Eat‘) to name a few.

Among the vignettes my favorites were:
1. A cute white boy goes to hook-up with a guy who he thinks is Latino, but ends up being Asian once he takes off his sunglasses (I was fooled too, no lie!!).
2. For their 25th wedding anniversary one guy has the idea to get a famous porn star to sleep with them.
3. A man sees his dead boyfriend as a talking imaginary friend and it’s up to his best friend to get him to leave behind the past.

Check the film out tonight and comment with your favorite story from the film!

Oh and don’t forget that if you want queer cinema to keep getting made go support them this awards season by watching them in the theaters! Then go home and watch Dekkoo 😉

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Watch it with: A couple of your romantic friends.

Mix it with: White wine!

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 042 – ‘PYOTR495′

Title – ‘Pyotr495

Director – Blake Mawson

Starring – Alex Ozerov, Alanna Bale, Juliana Semenova, Max Rositsan

Release Date – 2016

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How was everyone’s Halloween festivities last night? Did you have to take the day off work to recover? Over here at Dekkoo we’re still clinging onto the vapors of October with this week’s short film that really packs a wallop: ‘Pyotr495‘.

The beginning of ‘Pyotr’ starts out simple enough, a really really cute guy named Pyotr (played by Alex Ozerov) is cruising on Grindr one night and is invited over to an older muscle stud’s apartment (decorated in terrible/amazing Russian fashion), but since this is a horror film he of course runs into some trouble, namely a few anti-gay Russian Nationalists that believe that it’s their responsibility to rid Russia of ‘degenerates’ like the gays. A twist towards the end makes the short film extremely enjoyable 😉

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There are lots of reasons why this short film has played all over the world: great direction, fantastic cinematography, a great horror twist, and a really cute lead to name more than a few, but it’s the films social commentary about LGBTQ bullying that really ties everything together. The films starts with a message, stylized like the beginning of a Disney fairy tale: “Russia, 2014 – The country’s military has been ordered to invade the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, while the newly-instated LGBT Propaganda Law makes it illegal to present gay life in Russia as normal. President Vladamir Putin’s approval rating is at a six-year high.”

This film paints a reality for many LGBTQ people living in Russia. They don’t feel safe in the same spaces that most of us in the U.S. feel safe in. The wrong hookup can lead to devastating consequences. Charlie David from Border2Border (who helped bring Pyotr to a wider audience online) interviewed the director Blake Mawson and asked a question about why the film is so important in this day and age:

With what we’ve seen is happening in Chechnya with the anti-gay purge and concentration camps for gay men, these human rights abuses by Chechen authorities where journalists covering the story are receiving death threats and being forced to flee the country – this is obviously a very clear sign that things are not getting any better and are in fact worsening in many parts of the globe. While I’m not claiming that our short film is solving any of world problems, I do think it is important that we use our voice as artists and as people in any way possible to draw attention to these injustices and continue to raise awareness.

I think if I can use genre-type film to put an audience in the shoes of the people who are experiencing this type of terror and hatred, make them uncomfortable and have them realize that this is actually not so make-believe in the end, that this type of horror is real – then we can begin to open people’s eyes and reach an audience in unexpected ways.

Check out ‘Pyotr495‘ tonight and do your part in kicking the asses of Russian bigots!!

 

 

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Watch it with: Your horror buddies.

Mix it with: Russian Vodka of course!

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 041 – ‘FURIOUS DESIRES’

Title – ‘Furious Desires

Directors – Simone Bozzelli, Denisse Quintero, Ricky Mastro, Rodrigo Alvarez Flores, Fabio Leal

Starring – Edilson Silva, Carlos Eduardo Ferraz, Gregorio Musatti, Jose Pescina, Hoze Melendez, Fabio Leal

Release Date – 2017

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Just one more week until Halloween!! Do you have your costume picked out yet for that gay rager? Since I’m a bit of a movie nerd I think my Halloween celebrations will be quite classical and consist of pumpkin carving, movie watching, and scaring as many trick-or-treaters as possible with a ‘Goodnight Mommy’ mask I have somewhere in my closet.

This week on the dispatch I’m diving into the year’s sexiest collection of short films: ‘Furious Desires‘. The collection covers the gamut from first love to the perils of immigration to Mexican coming-of-age rituals. There are five in total. I’ll break ’em down below and I guess I’ll give them a rating too, why not!

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1. ‘Daytime Doorman’ – Well if you like nudity this is the short film for you! Marcelo is your typical constantly horny Brazilian guy who loves to hang out with friends and party. Marcio is a little more reserved and is the doorman of Marcelo’s building. When Marcelo invites the ‘straight’ Marcio out for a drink they end up hooking up which starts a string of hot (and sometimes sweet) encounters. I enjoyed all the sex, but I couldn’t really connect with the main character. He’s definitely painted as a bit ‘ditzy’ which did annoy me slightly. But like I said earlier – very sexy and tons of nudity!
3/5

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2. ‘Xavier’ – This is a very sweet film about a father who while trying to understand why his son is being anti-social at school comes to the realization that he might be gay. The evidence presents itself to him as he spies his shy son suddenly smiling and opening up to an older boy, but his theory is confirmed when he invites family friends over who bring a boy that Xavier can’t keep his eyes off of. The father’s understanding and acceptance of his son’s feelings is really adorable and makes the short film a gem.
4/5

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3. ‘The Other Side’ – Probably the highlight of the collection, ‘The Other Side’ covers a wealth of topics in its short run time including immigration, closeted relationships, and young love. Felipe & Claudio meet randomly while cruising on a bus and eventually fall in adorable puppy love. After shit goes down Felipe is forced to make the decision between staying home or following his love across the border to ‘The Other Side’.
5/5

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4. ‘The Tigers Fight’ – I always enjoy films that feature a heavy dose of history and culture and this one does that by exploring the customs involving the transition from childhood to manhood and also pledging your romantic interests towards another. The story focuses on Nicolas as he prepares for his ‘Tiger Fight’, a custom that encourages young men to spar with each other in full costume which by doing so invigorates the spirits to provide water for crops. He gets help from his best friend Pablo who is still mourning the death of his father. The short film has a great balance of family life, village life, cultures, customs, and boys wrestling in the rain 😉
4/5

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5. ‘Loris is Fine’ – I’m a sucker for gorgeous cinematography and gorgeous guys and this Italian short film has both! Sadly that’s about all it has in my opinion. The main character (while he is extremely hot) is self-absorbed like whoa and pretends to have a boyfriend (Or is he real? Can someone enlighten me??) who’s HIV positive, but can’t love him fully until he’s HIV positive as well which then leads to Loris inviting HIV positive men over so he can seroconvert. I don’t think it’s the worst thing ever, but I just didn’t understand a lot of what was going on. Oh well.
2/5

 

 

So there you have it! A nice strong collection of sexy short films that you should definitely binge tonight or this weekend.

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Watch it with: A bunch of friends that love short films

Mix it with: White wine all around!

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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 – 10/13/17

This is the artwork for the comedy fim Elijah's Ashes

A hilarious dark comedy about the deep, loving bond that exists between brothers…even ones who despise one another. ‘Elijah’s Ashes‘ follows Lawrence, a somewhat lost gay man, who embarks on an unexpected family road trip with his gruff, homophobic older brother to scatter their father’s ashes.

This is the artwork for the gay short film collection Furious Desires from TLA Releasing

An apartment renter lusts after his doorman, a father comes to realize that his son is attracted to other boys, two horny men find themselves literally just beyond one another’s reach, a guy declares his attraction to his best friend and two young lovers go to great length to prove their affection in this stunning and supremely sexy new collection – featuring five award-winning short films that deals with the topic of desire in various forms. Watch ‘Furious Desires’ now on Dekkoo!

This is the artwork for the film In A Glass Cage

In the aftermath of WWII, a former Nazi doctor and child molester finds himself confined to an iron lung following a failed suicide attempt. Things get even worse when a mysterious, handsome young man, hired to be his caretaker, is discovered to be hellbent on revenge. An uncompromising psychosexual drama that’s erotic, painful and terrifying in equal measure, ‘In a Glass Cage‘ is a highly controversial classic.

This is the artwork for the gay short film Alle Werden

When Andreas’ close friend Samuel meets Philippe, a highly respected colleague, Andreas finds himself in the awkward and uncomfortable position of watching his best friend fall in love…again. Watch ‘Alle Werden’ now on Dekkoo.com!

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Coming next week: A homoerotic Evangelical exorcism film. Need we say more?

DEKKOO DISPATCH 039 – ‘IN A GLASS CAGE’

Title – ‘In a Glass Cage

Director – Agustí Villaronga

Starring – Günter Meisner, David Sust, Marisa Paredes, Gisèle Echevarría

Release Date – 1986

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Darkness. A house containing evil and secrets. Innocence lost. A desire for revenge and murder. ‘In a Glass Cage‘ takes no prisoners and instead marches onwards through its self-made carnage towards a delicate balancing of art-house sensibilities and an exploration of twisted humanity. In fact this film is so disturbing that even John Waters said, “I’m too scared to show it to my friends!”

Agustí Villaronga made the harrowing film in 1985 and partially based it on Gilles de Rais, a companion to Joan of Arc and a notorious and self-confessed murderer of children (supposedly in the hundreds!). Like Pasolini’s ‘Salo’, Villaronga decided to set his tale at the end of WWII and utilizes a Nazi as the twisted figure at the center of the film. The film starts without remorse with Klaus (our resident evil dude) taking photos of a boy hanging from a rope. He’s naked and bears the marks of repeated tortures (I never said this was an easy movie to watch!!). After dealing the killing blow to the young boy Klaus seems to have some sort of revelation and immediately runs up to the roof of the house and jumps. Meanwhile someone was watching the proceedings and steals Klaus’ scrapbook/diary of his evils.

Fast-forward a few years and we’ve found that Klaus, while still alive, is now living inside a large iron lung. A device that controls his breathing. Without it he dies. His wife (played by Almodovar regular Marisa Paredes) and young daughter have been taking care of him in a country house in Catalonia where they try and avoid the Nazi witch hunt taking place in the rest of the world that would surely condemn them. Suddenly an invader boldly infiltrates the house and locks the door where Klaus is kept. When the wife demands to be let in she finds Angelo, a brooding young man petitioning to become Klaus’ nurse. Much to her dismay Klaus insists that Angelo stay to be his nurse and we eventually find out that it’s because Angelo is the one that knows all of Klaus’ secrets.

What follows is a dangerous lesson in power dynamics and the nature of evil itself. The beginning is dramatic, the middle is disturbing, and the end of the film is incredibly hypnotic and moving.

Besides the fantastic acting and writing, the cinematography is really what stands out to me in this film. Jaume Peracaula has lensed almost all of Agustí Villaronga’s films and he manages to find a perfect balance between light and dark and most of all the color blue which I’m sure has some symbolic meaning that I can’t quite figure out (I’m being honest at least!). The transfer that we’ve brought to Dekkoo is the latest High Definition remaster which really is miles better than the old DVD that used to exist where you could barely make out what was happening in half of the film.

While the themes are difficult to handle I truly love this movie. Top 25 for sure! To me it seems like ‘Salo’ as directed by Dario Argento and Pedro Almodovar and I’m crazy excited that it’s finally here on Dekkoo where you can challenge yourself to Agustí Villaronga’s masterpiece.

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Watch it with: Probably just yourself.

Mix it with: Water.

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