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 047 – ‘DESERT MIGRATION’

Title – ‘Desert Migration

Director – Daniel F. Cardone

Release Date – 2015

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Derek Jarman. Keith Haring. Freddie Mercury. Rock Hudson. Liberace. Michel Foucualt. Leigh Bowery. David Wojnarowicz. Brad Davis. Perry Ellis. Arthur Ashe. Rudolf Nureyev.

Today is December 1st – World AIDS Day. Today we recall and mourn all of our role models, friends, family members, and lovers that have passed away far too early from HIV/AIDS. It’s also a day for us to raise awareness of all the work that needs to be done to erase the virus from the face of the earth. An estimated 36.7 million people are living with the disease and almost 5,000 will contract it today. We’ve made great progress in education, treatment, and prevention, but there’s still so much more to be done.

On Dekkoo we’re bringing you the documentary ‘Desert Migration‘ by Daniel F. Cardone. An official selection of Outfest and Frameline this film takes a deep look at 13 older gay men living with HIV in Palm Springs, CA. From morning medications to afternoon meditations we get to experience their daily routines and thoughts. Half of the people living with HIV in the United States are over the age of 50 and much of this generation are gay men whose lives were saved by antiretroviral treatments in the 90s and are now coping with both that intense medication and plain old age. Palm Springs is not only a haven for Los Angeles denizens desperate for a break from busy city life, but it’s also a mecca for gay men. They come for the beautiful scenery and lively gay social life and stay for the exact same reasons. Once you’re there it’s really hard to go back to city life. It’s so peaceful and serene and warm!

All of the men in this documentary are heroes. They’ve overcome insurmountable odds to still be alive and the fact that most of them have a positive outlook on life is astounding. This film isn’t an advertisement for Palm Springs, but they all credit the oasis in helping them find joy and meaning in their lives. All of their stories are similar yet different. Eric wants to find a boyfriend who doesn’t embraces his identity as an HIV-positive gay man. Steven is looking for any sort of relationship. Joel loves being healthy enough to go back to work. Doug is most at home in the gym cruising the guys and trying to look his best. I found this documentary to be incredibly uplifting and inspiring. The cinematography of the desert was stunning and made me yearn to be back in Palm Springs’ warm and loving embrace. While the film is incredibly inspiring, it doesn’t have an agenda it’s trying to push beyond the message that life finds a way. A way to cope, to rebuild, and most of all to have hope.

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Watch it with: A few close friends

Mix it with: A glass of white wine

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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 035 – ‘POPPORN’

Title – ‘Popporn’

Director – Charlie David

Starring – Andrew Cheng, Conchita, Dwayne Wilson, Erin Burley

Release Date – 2017

 

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POPPORNNNNNN! Wowza it’s always awesome when something totally catches you off guard that you absolutely cannot stop watching. I had no idea this show existed and right when I get home tonight I’m going to binge as many as I can handle. It’s funny that this show came along right when I just started getting into watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 because it’s superrrr similar.

The basic gist of the series is that a bunch of comedians (including a character from Avenue Q [Lucy the Slut]) riff on some incredibly bad, cheesy, and stupid gay porn films with titles like ‘Stealth Fuckers’, ‘Freaky Friday’, and ‘He Can Do It Better’. It’s half in the style of MST3K and half ‘I Love the 80s/90s/etc’ where there’s animation (yes sadly they do censor the porn, but at least they use emojis!) and use of clever editing to great comedic effect.

The series comes from the mind of Charlie David, the prolific director, producer, and actor. If you want to catch up on his work here on Dekkoo we’ve gottttt: ‘Paternity Leave‘ ‘Mulligans‘ ‘I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay‘ ‘I’m a Porn Star‘ ‘More Scenes from a Gay Marriage‘ ‘I’m a Stripper Too!‘ ‘I’m a Stripped: American’s Most Wanted‘ ‘I’m a Stripper‘ ‘I’m a Stripper: Boylesque‘ ‘STUDlebrity‘ ‘I’m a Stripper: Digital Dancer

Whew! I told you he was prolific…

Anyway the show is broken up into 6 episodes that each touch on a specific subject: “Straight2Gay”, “Cockbusters”, “Fantasy”, “Money Talks”, “Daddy Issues”, & finally “Hard Criminals”. The comedians also score each porno at the end of every segment via the ‘Squirt-O-Meter’. Some of my favorite lines in the first episode:

“He looks like Jabba the Hut crossed with Roman Polanski”

Creepy guy with camera – “Why don’t you play with your shirt off?”
Hot dumb ‘straight’ guy playing Frisbee Golf – “I don’t see why not…”
CGWC – “Hey can I touch you?”
HDSGPFS – “I don’t see why not…”

“You call that choking?? Maybe she doesn’t want to have sex with you BECAUSE YOU’RE BAD AT IT!”

If you’ve got got even a slight sense of humor, hunker down with some friends tonight and ‘get off’ to ‘Popporn‘!

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Watch ’em with: As many gays as you can fit in a room!

Mix it with: Lots of alcohol, lots of weed

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 034 – ‘STAY’ AND ‘FOUR’

Title – ‘Four

Director – Joshua Sanchez

Starring – Wendell Pierce, Emory Cohen, Aja Naomi King, E.J. Bonilla

Release Date – 2012

Title – ‘Stay

Director – Brandon Zuck

Starring – Brandon Tyler Harris, Julian Brand, Zach Vinci

Release Date – 2013

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Happy September everyone. I doubt many of you have children, but if you do I hope you’re very much enjoying having them off of your hands and back in school! And if you’re still in school then I’m so very sorry. Maybe these two films will cheer you up!

We’ve brought you two short films now from Brandon Zuck (‘The Happy Ones‘ ‘Goodbye Blue Sky‘) and this one is my favorite so far. ‘Stay‘ is an intimate drama (with a hint of action that we’ve become used to with Zuck’s work) taking place in the Florida keys (having the convertible top down while it’s raining is soooo Florida) concerning friendship, drugs, and intimacy issues. Ash tries and tricks his ex-boyfriend (Jacks) into joining him for a road trip that’s actually a drug deal. Once Jacks finds out he’s infuriated and only calms down when there’s an offer of money (sigh. typical dude-bro). The rest of the film is spent with discussions about their relationship – a lot of which feels very honest and heartwarming. After researching the film a bit more I found out that Brandon Zuck is attempting to make it into a feature film – very cool!

Continuing on with the theme of character-studies our featured feature film of the week is ‘Four‘ – a heartfelt drama about 4 people living their lives and trying to figure out how love works. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and took home an ensemble acting award for all 4 actors. For a tight 75-minute film it’s an incredibly honest piece of work and one definitely worth watching.

June – A young man struggling with his homosexuality who turns to anonymous online dating sites to find some kind of happiness.
Joe – A hardworking family man. Everyone he knows would describe him as honest, happy, and smart, but he hides his homosexuality from everyone and seems disgusted with gay men that aren’t him or those he holds in his favor.
Abigayle – Joe’s daughter who has to take care of her ill mother when her father is ‘away on business’.
Dexter – Half bad boy / half poet who wants to find love. A bit of a slacker, but charming nonetheless.

Over the course of one night these characters talk, kiss, scream, cry, and try to interpret the world around them. The most interesting plot line is definitely June & Joe who’s interactions sometimes feel like spoken-word poetry. Joe’s outgoing nature is the perfect compliment to June’s shy bordering on mute personality. I do wish the movie went a little further in its investigation of Joe’s family. There’s an easy 10 minutes that could have been added to it, but my guess is that the filmmaker wants us to understand how secrets can congeal in a nuclear family and remain undisclosed. Regardless this is a very moving film that I think you’ll all very much fall in love with.

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Watch ’em with: You and yourself

Mix it with: A drink that reminds you of your first love

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 024 – ‘I’M FINE’ IS BACK!

Title – ‘I’m Fine

Director – Brandon Kirby

Starring – Perry Powell, Lee Doud, Shaughn Buchholz, Ulysses Morazan

Release Date – 2017

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The wait is finally over! Episodes 5-8 of Dekkoo’s Original Series ‘I’m Fine‘ are online for your immediate on-the-go entertainment. Nate, Jeff, Andy, Brian, and yes even the legendary love-of-Nate’s-life Joey are back in action!

After binging the last 4 episodes of Season 1 I had soooo many questions for director Brandon Kirby. Below are a few of them for your enjoyment:

FD: So at the end of episode 4 Jeff reveals his more-than-friends feelings for Nate which to me was what I was most excited about with the release of episodes 5-8. Has that situation ever happened to you?

BK: Since moving to LA, I’ve played the Jeff role in that scenario numerous times, admitting my feelings to friends of mine, and once I was in the Nate position. With that friend, we actually ended up trying to be romantic with each other, but ultimately decided we are DEFINITELY only meant to be very close friends.

FD: Was there any inspiration for that hilarious party scene in Episode 5?

BK: The whole situation with the grandma’s painting, that actually happened to me a couple years ago at a house party in Hollywood on New Year’s Eve. I was drunk, waiting in line for the bathroom and bumped into a painting on the wall. The host called me out for it. The version of that happening in Ep5 is obviously dramatized.

FD: Speaking of dramatized… from money-hungry party hosts, to shady pool boy escorts, to awkward brunch guests you’ve painted a slightly depressing view of LA. At the end of the day do you have a positive view of gay life in Los Angeles or are we all doomed?

BK: Ha! I mean, we might all be doomed for other reasons. But in terms of Los Angeles and West Hollywood specifically, I do love living here but it took me a while – years, actually – to fully come around to it. So, in that time in between, I found a lot of the flaws and a lot of the things in the gay community that, y’know, aren’t the best. But of course any skewering I’m doing here comes from a place of love.

FD: You’ve teased a lot of new characters in the second half of Season 1. Which of them are you most excited to explore?

BK: I’m excited to explore Jeff’s roommate Louis, who we haven’t met before, and their new mutual friend Zachary, who plays an especially important role in Season 2.

FD: Well then you should totally dish on what’s going to happen in Season 2!

BK: Let’s just say the storylines go beyond just exploring why Nate is clinging to being “fine” but to his circle of friends, as well. We dive a bit deeper into everyone’s individual existential crises. And yes, it’s still a comedy!

FD: Well I’m super psyched for it. I’ll leave you alone after you tell me your top 3 films on Dekkoo.

BK:Edge of Seventeen‘, ‘Concrete Night‘, & ‘Parting Glances

WATCH IT NOWWWW!

‘Godless’ tackles the taboo topic of sibling passion

The film ‘Godless‘ was added to the Dekkoo library this week. It’s a film that deals with a taboo topic using intelligence and sensitivity. It screened at numerous film festivals around the country and comes from director Joshua Lim who also directed ‘The Seminarian‘.

After the death of their father, Nate (Craig Jordan) moves in with his mother, but his elder brother, Steven (Michael E. Pitts) continues his studies out of state. The brothers use this distance to end the incestuous physical affair they’ve shared since puberty. However, when their mother dies in a car accident, Steven returns for her funeral. During this time of mourning, the two brothers’ unrelenting love for each other threatens the secret they had buried.

Nathaniel Grey for Frontiers Media said, ‘What carries this film is that through the chemistry and performances of Jordan and Pitts, you want to know more about them. You wonder how have they retained their sanity and composure over the years while holding strong to their forbidden but shared love.’

He goes on to say, ‘…the film provides a great opportunity to experience a rarely offered and controversial topic.’

Godless’ is now playing on Dekkoo!