DEKKOO DISPATCH 066 – ‘SHORT FILM ROUNDUP!’

Title – ‘Turn It Around

Director – Niels Bourgonje

Starring – Valentijn Avé, Tonko Bossen, Timo Dries, Faye Gunther

Release Date – 2017

Title – ‘Breath

Director – Margien Rogaar

Starring – Yannick de Waal, Moo Miero, Roeland Fernhout

Release Date – 2007

Title – ‘It Gets Better?

Director – Stephen Riscica

Starring – Gys de Villiers, Luka Fric, Samuel Ashkenazy, Adam Davenport

Release Date – 2016

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Three short films – Three snapshots of queer life at three different points in a gay man’s life. I’ve been focusing too much on features lately so this week I decided to take a glance backwards at some of the short films that have been added to Dekkoo’s catalog. I found three recent additions that speak of love at different stages in life and they’re all exquisitely crafted! I’d recommend starting from young to old. In this case from ‘Breath‘ to ‘Turn It Around‘ to ‘It Gets Better?‘.

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‘Breath’ is an heartwarming poetic coming-of-age short film from The Netherlands. Infused with a warmth you can only get from shooting on real film, ‘Breath‘ focuses its camera on 12-year old Erik. He’s fascinated by the world around him and constantly observes his surroundings with the remnants of child-like awe. His friend Sophie invites him to the beach where he meets her handsome and playful father. Clearly Sophie has a bit of a crush on Erik, but Erik has his eyes on her father. Margien Rogaar definitely has an eye for colors, occasionally flashing us with bright swatches of color reminiscent of scenes from ‘Beginners’ by Mike Mills. The whole film felt like falling into a dream for me – a dream that put me in the shoes of my childhood self and reminded me of what having a crush at that age was like.

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Ten years later in the same country Niels Bourgonje created ‘Turn It Around‘. A film set squarely in the post-‘It Gets Better’ world with the coming out process being awkward rather than difficult. In the short 15-year old Bram is attending a house party with his girl crazy friends. We can tell immediately that he’s your typical closeted gay teenager – lazily reacting to girls his friends point out as ‘hotties’. But then Bram spots Florian at the party and immediately falls for him. In the span of just ten minutes we’re witness to the beginning of a really adorable love story. If you can only watch one of these shorts make it this one! Soooo cute and heartfelt.

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Lastly we enter old age with ‘It Gets Better?‘. Getting older is something very few people (especially gay people!) want to happen to them. This feeling is programmed into us from a very young age where being attractive and youthful is prized above almost everything else. Slowly, but surely more narratives are changing that view point and ushering the values of old age corresponding to wisdom and insight into the cultural consciousness. In this short we meet an older man who’s watching an ‘It Gets Better’ video on the internet. In the video we see a teenager repeating the same monologue we’ve heard a million times before, but it’s affecting this man differently. Instead of being calmed by it he’s agitated by the teenager’s words. After drinking a heck of a lot of wine we finally hear what’s on his mind. Gys de Villiers (who is actually a pretty famous South African actor) is unbelievably compelling as the anonymous older gay man who tries to impart some of his wisdom (and melancholy) to a jaded modern culture.

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Watch it with: A friend or two!

Mix it with: A glass of white wine.

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 061 – ‘CAS’

Title – ‘Cas

Director – Joris van den Berg

Starring – Kevin Hassing, Wieger Windhorst, Felix Meyer, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing

Release Date – 2016

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Hallo from the Netherlands (or Holland if you’d prefer)! The home of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and the inventor of solid chocolate! Ooh la la! It’s also home to a boatload of cute gay couples just waiting to invite you into their apartment so you can sleep on their couch while you worm your way into their lives without realizing it. Well at least I assumed from the movie ‘Cas‘ I just watched that that’s the case. Well I’ll just pretend to myself that it happens allll the time. You’ve gotta live for something…

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Cas‘, a film directed by Joris van den Berg is actually a made-for-TV film which makes me instantly sad that I don’t live in the Netherlands and can’t have something like this broadcasting over the air permeating my entire body with it’s emotional and sexy brilliance. Running at only 48 minutes it’s a breath of fresh air as to what Joris is able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. The way in which the viewer enters the film and is quickly able to take stock of the current situation of the relationship is incredibly strong. We’re immediately aware that we’re in the presence of a couple that’s at the make-or-break stage. They love each other, but they both have long-term needs that could conflict.

Enter our main character Cas who will decide for them if they’re made for this pairing or if they just wish they were. Invited by Sjors to crash on their couch while he looks for a place to live, Cas shows up one day to Pepjin’s surprise. While we’re a little confused at first how the two met, it’s eventually revealed that Sjors had met up with him a few times previously. Pepjin’s reluctance gives way to a welcoming attitude once Cas’ love of 80s music and ‘Twin Peaks’ comes to light. Eventually after a drunken night out the three end up sleeping together and then the real relationship tests really start.

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There’s so much to like about this film. Pepjin’s emotional fragility, Sjors’ tender daddy personality, and Cas’ puppy dog-like charm are a few of them. But other topics like the contrasting desires and goals in a relationship and the nature of monogamy are explored with such a delicate yet strong touch that reminded me of my own relationships and made me question what I want in my future relationships. All in all this is a fantastic 48 minute film and I can’t wait to see what Joris van den Berg is able to do with 96 minutes next time!

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Watch it with: Your boyfriend and your houseboy.

Mix it with: A Heineken (it’s from the Netherlands!!)

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 036 – ‘BOYS’

Title – ‘Boys’

Director – Mischa Kamp

Starring – Gijs Blom, Ko Zandvliet, Jonah Smulders, Ton Kas

Release Date – 2014

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Monday of next week we’re releasing one of the sexiest gay romantic films of 2017, ‘Center of My World‘ almost a month before it hits DVD! To prepare you for the insane sexiness you’ll be checking out next week I thought a small appetizer would be a good idea to ‘whet’ your appetite.

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Boys‘ is a captivating coming-of-age/romance from the Netherlands. Originally produced as a TV movie it was so well-made that the producers were able to expand its reach to theaters in the Netherlands and eventually it made it’s way to other countries as well. Could it be because of the two incredibly good looking leads? Gijs Blom & Ko Zandvliet are extremely magnetic by themselves, but together they present a vision of what young gay love really will look like in the future.

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Sieger lives with his father and brother. It quick becomes apparent that Sieger is living with the recent grief of his mother. In order to tune out the tensions that exist between his motorcycle-obsessed brother getting into fights with his dad Sieger participates in track & field with his local high school. One day a new kid joins the team, Marc, which inspires a new array of feelings to confuse Sieger even further. Pretty soon afterwards they share their first kiss while swimming at the local lake. Marc seems confident in his attraction, but Sieger struggles to accept the relationship.

Making the film shine even brighter is brilliant cinematography and toe-tapping musical selections from M83, Foo Fighters, and Katy Perry!

I know the wait for ‘Center of My World‘ has felt like forever, but it’s almost here! Watch ‘Boys‘ to tie you over 😉

 

 

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Watch it with: A friend who loves romantic films

Mix it with: A glass of white wine

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Short films go a loooong way!

We love the short film format. Just like a short story, a short film forces the filmmaker to be concise and exact with the tale he or she wants to tell. And while a short film is just that – short, it does not diminish its ability to tell a great story.

So far this week we’ve added two short films to the Dekkoo library that we think you’ll enjoy.

The 6 Gays You’ll Date Before You Die‘ is a short that plays like a pseudo-public service announcement. It outlines the six types of guys every man will ultimately date before they finally choose to settle down. It’s hilarious, a bit goofy and sadly, completely accurate!

Buddy‘, a short film from The Netherlands (which we absolutely had to have in our library once we saw it), is more dramatic story of two friends, former lovers, who share a scary moment together.

Take a peek at both and consider what elements of the story are purposely excluded in favor of other pieces of information being included and how do those decisions help the humor, drama or action of the story.