beA Herculean sense that gay-themed "I'm Fine" web series creator/writer/director/producer/guest star Brandon Kirby has insight into the lives and loves of WeHos made a telephone conversation with him in conjunction with Dekkoo releasing the third season episodes on July 25, 2019 a special treat. A post on "Fine" S1 and an article on S2 provides a good overview of that series, Thoughts on S3 will follow the DVD release of that season in the next few months.
The chance to find out how Kirby gets everything so right prompted asking where he hid the camera that has been recording my life for years. He chuckled and replied "that close to home, huh?"
He explained that the series started as highly auto-biographical and that S1 was really based on him. He added that friends of main character Nate were loosely based on his friends. More fun related to hearing about how the real friends of Kirby speculated about which individuals in his life inspired his reel long-time companions.
Kirby made up for admitting that he had not read any of my posts about "Fine" by laughing and saying that he liked my using the name "Natey" in reference to a relationship between Nate and Joey; more atonement in the form of liking recent tweets on those posts is pending.
Kirby described the evolution of "Fine" as "once the actors got ahold of it, it got beyond my own life." We "worked on it together."
This topic required asking Kirby about the real-life inspiration for "Fine" character Jeff, who developed an "its complicated" relationship with best-friend Nate. Kirby merely stated that that "buddy" never explicitly acknowledged that character.
This developed into Kirby sharing that "the hooking up with a friend is something I wanted to explore; I felt that it was something that gay men could relate to," Most readers see the truth in this,
Kirby further noted that the third season was the final one, commenting that the series had reached a "natural conclusion."
An IMDb credit for the upcoming anthology film "Deathember," which takes "a look at the dark side of the festive season" led to discussing the Kirby contribution of the "queer horror" short "All Sales Final." He added that he usually works on that genre when collaborating with "Fine" writer Michael Varrati.
This pair also has "The More the Scarier" to their credit; IMDb describes that one as "What happens when a horny ghost haunts your apartment?"
Kirby stated that "Scarier," which uses "I Love Lucy" style credits, is an "irreverent sitcom" with a laugh track. He laughed but did not respond when asked if the horny ghost was a Cuban bandleader.
All of use will get a chance to see "Scarier" when it premieres on Dekkoo in October.
More Than A Pretty Face
Pre-interview research revealed that Kirby was a secondary-education grad, student at Marymount Loyola University in Los Angeles. He shared that he wanted to teach English when he graduated.
When asked about which book that he would like to adapt into a film, Kirbrby responded The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. He added that others had tried that project but had never gotten a movie made.
Kirby additionally commented that the novel Adam by Ted Dekker was a "hot topic" and had recently been made into a movie.
Getting to know Kirby made it clear that he epitomized the modern approach to independent film-making. He seemed surprised to asked why he produces streaming material and stated that he only has ever worked in that format. The clear implication is that he never will expand beyond that.
It is equally clear that he is a bright well-educated guy who has succeeded in communicating his perspective and psyche in a manner that greatly entertains those of who have several barely started novels and even less-developed ideas for films and television series in our heads.
This amounts to a future class of kids who will try watching the movie, rather reading the book, and will pass off downloaded papers as their own work being in for a treat when they get Kirby as a teacher.
The Dekkoo Films March 12, 2019 DVD of the 2017 S1 of the Dekko network series "Woke" (nee "Les Engages") is highly relatable both to LGBT folks and anyone who has ever worked with a community organization. The broader perspective regarding this show about the lives. loves, and politics of the volunteers of the Lyon-based Point G gay-rights group is that it can be considered the French version of either the British or the American version of the gay-themed dramedy series "Queer As Folk.'
The 16 European and American awards for the aptly titled "Woke" further reflect the international appeal of the series. It really is about the men and the women in your office and your neighborhood.
The following YouTube clip of a "Woke" trailer emphasizes many of the international elements of the series. We see gayby Hicham poorly respond to a confrontation by "Mom" and get glimpses of the Kinsey Scale of lust-to-love that reflects the range of gay relationships.
The focus of "Woke" initially is divided between our leads. Closeted Muslm student Hicham (Justin) is living a life of quiet desperation with his sister Hadjet. The love and support of this well-meaning mother figure includes encouraging him to contact a presumed female object of his affection. Hadjet subsequently showing up unannounced at the quasi love shack of Hicham also strikes a chord with roughly 10-percent of the global population.
Meanwhile, Point G leader/bookshop owner/gay slut Thibaut (Brian) is pursuing all his passions in Lyon. The crisis du jour is that the mayor is basing denying a permit for a Gay Pride festival on the argument that gay people already have enough rights. Of course, hypocrisy soon enters the picture.
A later Point G campaign to locate witnesses to the beating of a volunteer who keeps his apartment by being a rent boy reflects the positive spirit of "Queer." An aspect of this is that discovering a strong gay community often fills the void left regarding lifestyle-based estrangement from blood relatives,
The rest of the story is that Hicham and Thibaut have a history that apparently is comparable to frequent (also aptly named) camp-out behavior that a lack of official approval by the Boy Scouts does not deter. The results of a personal survey is that every gay man who was a scout had his first sexual encounter with another guy during a scout event,
The past of Hicham and Thibaut involves the former hitting the latter in response to a request for a kiss during a non-scout camping trip. This is relatable to the many gay men whose early days of repression and/or ignorance manifest in cruelty toward teen friends who already know and accept that they like other boys "in that way."
The prior encounter and being increasingly woke in the present prompt Hicham to run away from home to join the gay circus. His rude awakening includes a relatable moment in which calf dyke lesbian Murielle berates this guy whom she has never met before for his inadvertent intrusion into ladies' night at the Point G headquarters. The outrage of Murielle relates to male intrusion on the one night of the week that the boys let the girls use the clubhouse.
Hicham soon thereafter has an uneasy reunion with Thibaut. What we know about our troubled activist and what we soon learn both show why he allows his former assailant to share his space, but not his bed.
The aforementioned organizational conflict (not to mention a form of theft that also is not unheard of in the Boy Scouts) leads to politics that turn very dirty. The end result is that charismatic and compassionate Thibaut becomes president/puppet. He has not-so-charismatic or compassionate board member/drag queen/puppetmaster Claude to thank for the rise to power.
On a more positive note, Hicham largely is a poster-child for the modern gay man. The aforementioned victories in the hearts and minds of the hoi polloi allow this nice young man to hold out for a loving and mutual relationship. The facts that he is seeking Mr. Right, rather than Mr. Right Now, and is not looking for love in all the wrong places or in too many faces show that we've come a long way, Baby. It further proves that gay men have achieved the worst nightmare of Brian Kinney of the U.S. "Queer As Folk" that fags have become boring suburban couples.
This perfect storm (including a chance encounter with the one who got away) prompts season-ending soul-searching for Thibaut. The best perspective this time comes from a real-life publicist for a major US studio who states that he understands why artistic temperamental people are artistic and temperamental.
All of this has fans of quality gay-themed dramedy eager for the Dekko DVD release of "Woke" S2.
The Dekkoo Films August 28, 2018 DVD release of the 2017 gay-themed thriller "The Year I Lost My Mind" (nee "Jahr des Tigers") from writer-director Tor Iben provides a good chance to add a mildly erotic Hitchcockian thriller to your Halloween season viewing schedule.
"Mind" is the first (but definitely will not be the last) feature film for Alexander Tsypilev, who plays a literal peeping Tom. We meet this excitable 20ish boy buying a mask for a presumably nefarious purpose and soon learn that his preliminary objective is freaking out his sister on returning to the home that they share with their mother. We almost as soon discover that Mom is indulgent of Tom largely based on her understanding that he is not like other boys.
The real fun (and Hitchcockian element) begins when Tom and his partner-in-crime commit a daytime break-in of the apartment of studly 20-something gay-studies professor Lars. The kicker is that Lars (who apparently is a comatose sleeper) is taking a cat nap during this homo invasion and never wakes up. This encounter immediately triggers an obsession for Tom.
The following YouTube clip of a SPOILER-LADEN trailer for "Mind" provides a strong sense of the character study aspect, obsession, and overall suspense of the film.
The Hitchcockian vibe begins with the threat hitting close to home rather than the spooky isolated house. That setting and the related sense that someone has been in your home contribute to the familiar angst. We also get the element of fixation/obsession for which Hitch is famous. This is not to mention the building suspense that leads to the climax (no pun intended). One spoiler is that the outcome is not one that would ever enter the mind of notorious (pun intended) womanizer Hitchcock.
Another twist on Hitchcock is that Tom regularly returns to the scene of the crime both when sound-sleeper Lars is home and is away. Meanwhile, Lars gets direct and indirect evidence that a Goldilocks comes into his home while he is away. Those of us who have had a sniff-freak roommate can relate to Lars being perplexed regarding his underwear disappearing.
Ala Hitchcock and filmmmakers who emulate him, Iben has Lars almost catch Tom red handed. One twist is that it Tom likely fantasizes about being caught with his pants down but is unsure how Lars would react to finding him in that state.
One of a handful of inevitable outcomes commences with Lars literally and figuratively waking up and Tom being the one who gets away. This leads to Lars commencing a manhunt that concludes with deliverance. The lesson here is that boys will be boys.
An equally compelling portent revolves around Tom haunting a very busy wooded gay cruising area where he alternates between being the hunter and the prey; this setting also is one of two in which he acts on his deepest desire. The surreal elements of the trips into the woods are a highlight.
Much of the depth comes from the symbolic aspect of the masks, other psychological elements, and Lars providing gay-history tidbits. This is not to mention the depiction of male aggression being tied into sexual desire.
All of this amounts to a film that supports the theory that the erotic aspects of any movie typically have a converse relationship with the quality and depth of the film. "Mind" additionally successfully fuels paranoia related to losing intimate apparel and being sure that a personal item is someplace other than its prior location.