DEKKOO DISPATCH 018 – ‘FOGI IS A BASTARD’ & ‘BOYGAME’

Title – ‘Fogi Is a Bastard

Director – Marcel Gisler

Starring – Fredric Andrau, Vincent Branchet, Urs Peter Halter, Jean-Pierre Von Dach

Release Date – April 28, 1999

Title – ‘Boygame’ (as part of ‘Straight Men and The Men Who Love Them: Vol. 3‘)

Director – Anna Österlund Nolskog

Starring – Charlie Gustafsson, Joakim Lang, Sophie Adolfsson, Palmira Koukkari Mbenga

Release Date – December 3, 2013

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This week on the Dekkoo Dispatch we’re covering two films that center on youth and sexuality and the angst that arises from that potent combination.

‘Boygame’ (part of ‘Straight Men and the Men Who Love Them Vol: 3‘) is a masterful investigation into the limits (or lack thereof) of male bonding from Swedish director Anna Österlund Nolskog. Yup that’s right. One of the sexiest and deepest probing studies into straight guys maybe not being that straight is from a woman. The short centers around best friends John and Nicholas. They joke together, encourage each other to chase after their girl crushes, and even jerk off together. But once conversation turns to
the mechanics of sex and how they’ll be able to keep from cumming too quickly that’s when the line between friends and something more gets a little blurry. There’s so much about this short film to fall in love with, but personally my favorite part is right at the end studying the character’s faces to determine exactly what they’re thinking. Each time I come up with something different and it never fails to make me feel giddy in one way or another.

After you’ve fallen in love with John and Nicholas from ‘Boygame’ it’s time to keep up those reading skills with another foreign film. This time from Switzerland (French language), the land of mountains, watches, chocolates, and drug addicted rockers like Fogi, one of the main protagonists (although he could also be considered the antagonist) of ‘Fogi is a Bastard‘. I watched this movie for the first time when I was in high school or early college and really felt a connection with Beni, the main character since he was a
similar age and also looking for love. Now re-watching it later I’ve fallen in love with it even more since I can now recognize many of the tell-tale signs of impending romantic disaster which occur in the film quite frequently – that and I’m also just really into guys in collars now more than I was before.

15-year-old Beni goes to a rock concert one night and falls in love with Fogi, the lead singer of a so-so rock band. He quickly becomes a ‘roadie’ and Fogi introduces him to sex and tenderness which Beni sucks in like a sponge. At first Fogi isn’t really a ‘bastard’ as the title would suggest. He’s vulgar and off-putting, but those are qualities that rock stars usually posses and Beni admires that. After a while though one of Fogi’s band members
gets him back into heroin which has negative consequences on their relationship (obviously). Beni is persistent in his love for Fogi and won’t let go even when Fogi prostitutes him out to older men for drug money.

Fogi is a Bastard‘ is definitely a film that stands out from the pack for its tender study of drugs affecting a loving relationship. Parallels could be drawn to Ira Sachs’ ‘Keep the Lights On’ for it’s portrayal of two souls battling it out in the name of affection and love.
There are also some fantastic images in this film that refuse to leave my memory like when Beni curls up at Fogi’s feet and then Fogi pours milk on his face. Lactosploitation indeed!

Watch these films! You won’t be disappointed.

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Watch ’em with: A friend who enjoys sexy foreign films

Mix ’em with: A 6-pack of good beer

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 017 – ‘SPRING’ AND ‘IN THE NAME OF’

Title – ‘Spring

Director – Hong Khaou

Starring – Jonathan Keane, Chris O’Donnell

Release Date – January 22, 2011

Title – ‘In The Name Of

Director – Malgoska Szumowska

Starring – Andrzej Chyra, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Maja Ostaszewska, Lukasz Simlat

Release Date – September 20, 2013

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Hey Dekkoo-ers! Hope your week is going swell. I’ve got two great flicks to talk about today, both with an inter-generational theme.

‘Will it hurt?’ asks the youth nervously to the camera. ‘Yeah it can’ replies the older and much more confident man sitting across the table at the cafe. Thus begins the movie ‘Spring‘, a short film about sadomasochism and Sub/Dom role-play. It’s a fantastically shot short film by Hong Khaou, the director of ‘Lilting’ and an intriguing investigation into a young man’s mind as he explore fetishes he’s only dreamt of. Definitely a short film you won’t want to miss!

A funny side-note about this film is that most of it was shot in a room that caused a bit of a scandal way back because ‘The King’s Speech’ was shot in it along with a gay porn film!

Alright after you’ve taken a bit of a break :ahem: post-‘Spring‘ it’s time to sit down with ‘In The Name Of‘. It’s a beautiful, poetic film centering on a country priest in Poland dealing with his repressed sexuality. The film deals with heavy issues, but spreads it out to great effect with sensitivity and beauty.

After having just been transferred from another parish, Adam sets up shop in the sleepy little town by opening up a halfway house for wayward youth. The rules are simple: work hard and don’t get into trouble. Adam is able to start a family in a way with these young men and seems to be really happy early on in the film. But just when everything seems to be going well a new boy joins the ranks who senses Adam’s growing relationship with Lukasz (whose looks draw an obvious correlation with Jesus Christ) and decides to shake things up amongst the guys.

The film really comes together in the final act so I definitely recommend staying with it through the admittedly slow first half. If you need motivation there’s plentyyyy of half-naked guys throughout the film. Right when the song ‘The Funeral’ by Band of Horses started playing over a religious procession through the country-side was when the movie really coalesced for me and became magical from that point on.

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Watch ’em with: Your local gay-friendly (or just plain gay) priest

Mix ’em with: Wine blessed by said priest

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 016 – ‘G O’CLOCK’ AND ‘QUEER AS FOLK’

Title – ‘Queer As Folk

Director – Sarah Harding, Charles McDougall, Menhaj Huda

Starring – Aiden Gillen, Craig Kelly, Charlie Hunnam, Denise Black

Release Date – February 23, 1999

Title – ‘G O’Clock

Director – Mitchell Marion

Starring – Phillip Weddell, Leon Lopez, Seth Papworth, Damien Hughes

Release Date – March 16, 2016

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Happy hump day everyone! Hope your weeks have all been going swimmingly. Speaking of swimming, the focus of this week’s dispatch involves a quick paddle across the Atlantic to Britain where you’ll find two groups of guys partying hard!

First up is the classic original series of ‘Queer As Folk‘. The hit Showtime series here in the U.S. featuring Gale Harold, Randy Harrison, and Hal Sparks was actually a remake of a Russell T. Davies (who later went on to helm the revival of ‘Doctor Who’ and the gay series ‘Cucumber’ and ‘Banana’) series on Channel 4 in the U.K.. If anyone here is unfamiliar with the basic plot I’ll fill you in: The show follows Stuart, a rich advertising executive that parties extremely hard and manages to sleep with whoever he wants, his
best friend Vince, a nerdy type that has a bit more difficulty finding a man, and then there’s 15-year-old Nathan, the catalyst for the series who falls in love with Stuart. Also of note here is that Nathan is played by Charlie Hunnam who went from twink to hunk and has been in tons of stuff like ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘Pacific Rim’.

It’s interesting to note the differences and similarities between the original and the remake. The cities are fairly similar. It’s Manchester in the U.K. which has a vaguely similar suburban feel to Pittsburgh in the U.S. remake. The main three characters are still in the remake, but with different names. Stuart is Brian, Vince is Michael, and Nathan is now Justin. Also of note is the age of Nathan which in the U.K. series was 15 and in the U.S. series was 17. We’re just not as mature as people in the U.K. I suppose…

I highly recommend checking out the whole series. It packs just as much of an emotional wallop as the American series and still has a ton of sex, drugs, and parties just like its cousin.

This segues just perfectly into our featured short of the week which is ‘G O’Clock‘. I got to see this film twice on the big screen and it’s definitely a short film the audience couldn’t quite figure out if they were turned on by or scared of. The reason for that is that for most of the film you get to see boys partying their asses off almost completely naked and
having sex while imbibing the drug GHB. A quick science lesson: GHB, scientifically known as Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (C4H8O3) is a drug that is typically used in party scenes and at orgies. GHB is very similar to alcohol and increases feelings of euphoria, sex drive, and tranquility. It’s also much more dangerous than alcohol and you can easily pass out on it.

G O’Clock‘ follows the lives of a few GHB partiers, one of whom happens to be a paramedic (a mega HOT burly dude) who saves the life of a friend of the main character at the beginning of the film. The short tries to showcase the fun side of partying with GHB (happy guys, hot sex, big dicks) and also the bad side (jealousy, overdosing, etc.). It’s a really well done short film that I wish was twice as long, but still packs a wallop and is definitely worth checking out.

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Watch ’em with: Your party friends

Mix ’em with: Uh so apparently there’s a drink called GHB and it doesn’t sound half bad:

-1 oz Patron Tequila

-1 oz DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker Schnapps

-1/2 oz triple sec

-1 oz sweet and sour mix

-1/2 lime

 

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.

 

Will last minute anxiety ruin this threesome?

Have you ever wanted to experiment with a threesome? It’s a popular fantasy and the basis of our latest addition to Dekkoo.

Tri-Curious is short film about a young couple preparing for their first threesome together. Everything seems fine until the more conservative half of the pair suffers an anxiety attack and wants to cancel. Trouble is, it’s 20 minutes until the “guest” is set to arrive at their apartment.

Will they or won’t they? Would you?

Tri-Curious is now available on Dekkoo!

Be sure to check out the Behind the Scenes bonus feature as well.

 

An adult superstar transforms in this musical-comedy-horror flick!

With Halloween just around the corner we thought we’d kick off the witching season a little early. I Was a Teenage Werebear is a hilarious musical spoof of 1950s and 60s drive-in flicks with a perfect dash of campy horror fun that is perfect for the season.

When closeted new kid Ricky O’Reilly (played by Sean Paul Lockhart better know as beloved adult film superstar Brent Corrigan) falls for Malibu High’s mysterious bad boy Talon (Anton Troy) love bites them on the ass as the two transform into bestial, leather daddy werebears!

We’ve included a ton of extras including deleted scenes and a making of featurette so be sure to check out all of the extras available with this great addition to the Dekkoo library.

I Was a Teenage Werebear is now playing!

#DoYouDekkoo?

Two short films from Blake Pruitt are playing NOW!

We’ve just added two wonderful gay short films from director Blake Pruitt.

Blake is a writer, director, editor, producer, and part time drag queen living in New York City. You may have seen his short documentary 20MALEGAYNYC on a little site called Dekkoo (wink, wink) and it’s also been featured on Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish, The Advocate, and The Huffington Post.

His experimental short camchat (which has screened at film festivals in the US, Canada, and Europe) is a look at online sexual encounters and relationships through one young man’s interactions.

His narrative short, Read Aloud, had its world premiere at NewFest 2015.

Both films explore the challenging and ever-changing world of dating from a young perspective. Raw, sexy and edgy, Blake’s films never disappoint.

It also doesn’t hurt that the boys who star in both of these short films are drop dead gorgeous!

 

#DoYouDekkoo?

Elizabeth Gracen, director of The Damn Deal, interview.

Have you watched The Damn Deal on Dekkoo yet? It’s a captivating, beautifully lit and shot black-and-white documentary about identity and what it was like to grow up gay in the South at the end of the 20th century. Originally shot in 1997, filmmaker, writer and former Miss America, Elizabeth Gracen, interviewed three young female impersonators who competed in the Miss Gay America Pageant.

In anticipation of the 44th Miss Gay America pageant happening in Memphis from October 5 – 9, Elizabeth Gracen talked about the making of The Damn Deal. It’s a wonderful interview we thought you might like to read.

Miss America 1983 Elizabeth Gracen. Photo by Emma Bogren.

‘My brother was a huge football star and now with me in competition in pageants, that’s my football – that’s me being a football star. I’m just a beautiful football star.” 

– Spencer May/Kelly Cruise, Miss Gay Arkansas America 1993, from ‘The Damn Deal’ (1997)

In 1997, filmmaker, writer and former Miss America, Elizabeth Gracen, interviewed three young female impersonators who competed in the Miss Gay America Pageant system for her captivating, beautifully lit and shot black-and-white documentary “The Damn Deal” (Flapper Films). The recovered, original footage, now restored, explores gender, identity and what it was like to grow up gay in the South at the end of the 20th century.

Crowned Miss America in 1982, Gracen (Elizabeth Ward at the time) went on to study acting, pose on the cover of Playboy, star (as Amanda) in the Nineties TV series “Highlander,” and established her own film production company (Flapper Films) and boutique publishing company (Flapper Press). She recently filmed actress Lee Meriweather for a documentary short and in March released her first Young Adult fantasy novel, “Shallily.”

In anticipation of the 44th Miss Gay America pageant happening in Memphis from October 5 – 9, Gracen talks about the making of “The Damn Deal.”

What initially inspired you to make “The Damn Deal”?

I had the good fortune to meet Spencer May and Michael Thornberry (two of the stars of “The Damn Deal” at a hair salon in Little Rock, Arkansas. I think it was Michael who told me about the local female impersonator pageant. They took me along to the pageant at the Discovery nightclub, and I was allowed to stay backstage as the contestants got ready for competition. I remember sitting in the corner, fascinated with their process. I don’t know what they thought about a former Miss America “spying” on them!

Not long after that, I had the idea to capture Spencer on camera as he morphed from male to female as I asked him questions about his life and experience in the world of female impersonation and pageants. I met Stan Ferguson around that time as well. Sadly, he passed away about two months after we filmed. Michael Thornberry joined on shortly after that.

You judged a Miss Gay Arkansas America pageant. What was your impression?

I think Spencer May got me the gig of judging the Miss Gay Arkansas pageant. It was a wonderful time! I’d never seen anything like it. Back then, I had no idea that there was such a vibrant female impersonator venue in Arkansas. I mean, come on! – Arkansas is smack dab in the Bible Belt! I think that the Discovery nightclub still hosts fabulous shows, but back then… I just think it is amazing that the place existed at all!

Though Miss Gay America is based on the Miss America pageant system, these are men impersonating women. Aside from the obvious differences, what struck you the most? At the time I shot the film, I had been away from the pageant world for quite some time. I was questioning the value of women having to compete with each other to wear a crown. The world of the Miss Gay America system has its parallels, but I think the process is much more exact and arduous. The dedication it takes to bring a “creation” to life takes focus, passion and sense of fun. I think it is a much more difficult endeavor than what I had to go through when I competed. I really admire what they do and the artistry it takes to bring their “creations” to life.

And what did you find similar to Miss America about MGA?

Well, these guys are definitely “in it to win it” when it comes to competition. That is very similar to what I experienced when I was involved in the pageant world in the early 1980s. Obviously, the theatricality is enhanced – the makeup, hair and flamboyant aspect to the performances. However, I think the MGA system hits all the same points when it comes to the attention to detail and the desire to be the “best you can be” at what you are trying to achieve. Honey, they all want that crown!

Many of the men talk about how impersonating a strong woman, inventing a new self, has empowered them. Did you find–for you personally or other women–that competing in the Miss America system was the same kind of empowering experience?

I think that the whole female impersonation pageant experience is very different than what a young woman experiences during her pursuit in the pageant world. For men, I see it as a grand experiment–very artistic and full of humor and curiosity. They are empowered by that experimentation, and I think it kicks it up a notch for them to compete with each other. They really seem to be having fun, and they want to put on a great show for the audience.

For women, or at least with my experience in the pageant system, it involves a different aspect of “facade.” I was only 20 when I won Miss America. I’m from a small town in Arkansas, and I’d been on an airplane only one time before I arrived in Atlantic City. I was very focused and determined, but I had no idea, really, about who I was. It was more about being perfect. There was no experimentation – it was all about conforming to the Miss America ideal. No one told me that Miss America was a persona – “that I didn’t have to actually be perfect. I bought into the whole thing and really tried to be something impossible. It took me years of therapy to recover and just be myself!

Did you get a sense from these three men that being in the Miss Gay America pageant system was a bonding experience or purely competitive?

There must be a little of both when it comes to the men who compete in the MGA system. My experience with their world is pretty limited, but I assume that, just like in the women’s version of pageants, there is a little of everything going on! Competition, bonding, frustration, cattiness…I’m sure it is all there during the process.

Up until this past year, I had been away from the Miss America system for a very long time. I’ve had no interest, other than watching the pageant on television, in being involved with it. It is frustrating to me that women have to compete in swimsuits for a scholarship prize. It doesn’t make sense to me. I think it’s an outdated concept and one that I don’t support. There should be better ways of providing educational scholarships to young women.

However, just this past year, I’ve become friends with a group of former Miss Americas. We had a wonderful rendezvous in the Santa Barbara wine country. I got to know them – we got to share our strange, mutual experience of wearing the crown and what that year entailed for us. We are all very different, and our lives have taken divergent paths, but we still share that one experience. The stories of how we got there, how we felt about ourselves and how it changed our lives are all very different as well. It was one of the best weekends I have ever spent. I’ve made friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

Did you ever see the rule book for Miss Gay America? Or Job Summary? Is there is a similar rule book for Miss America?

Wow! I just took a quick look at the rulebook for the MGA pageant. Ha! I am sure that there is something similar for the Miss A Pageant, but I don’t think that “deductions” really play a big part in the process. Miss America is more about awarding points than deducting points. That speaks to the main difference in the two pageant systems. The MGA system is all about creating the “illusion” of a woman – that entails artistry in the creation. The Miss America Pageant is more about presenting the best “you” – the most “ideal.” I’m not saying that the latter doesn’t involve skill or talent, but it is not the same objective as the MGA system.

Female impersonators and drag queens know all the tricks. Did you every pick up a beauty secret or tip from these guys or any female impersonator/drag queen?

If you see “The Damn Deal,” you’ll see that its primary goal is to pull back the curtain on the artistry of creating the illusion of “female.” The makeup and body tricks are fascinating and informative to anyone interested in theatrical makeup and presentation. 

Gabriel – A delightful short film from Spain!

With so many great gay films to choose on Dekkoo we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss Gabriel.

Director Benjamin Chimoy presents a skillfully-made short film about Gabriel, a 32-year-old Spanish man living with his boyfriend Lars far away from his conservative family. In the days leading up to an imminent visit from his mother, Gabriel starts reflecting on his upbringing and remembering his childhood and his sexual coming-of-age.

Gabriel was a hit on the gay film-festival circuit and we’re thrilled to offer it on Dekkoo.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Brian

#DoYouDekkoo?