Queer Sh*t to Watch This Week

A Judy tribute, a queer John Lennon, and the end of an "Arrow."

NewNowNext spotlights the latest (and queerest) movies, TV shows, web series, and other LGBTQ shit for your viewing pleasure in our weekly watch list. Grab your popcorn, squirrel friends!

In Theaters

By the Grace of God

Gay French director François Ozon tackles pedophilia and the Catholic Church with his most engaging, urgent work yet. Based on the real-life case of a cardinal (played here by François Marthouret) who helped enable and cover up decades of abuse by a pedophile priest (Bernard Verley), this thinly veiled dramatization follows a group of adult victims who band together in pursuit of justice through both the church and the courts before the 30-year statute of limitations runs out. The actual victims collaborated with Ozon on the film, and provided many of the letters and communication with the church relayed via voiceovers. Powerful stuff. (Opens October 18, Music Box Films)
 

Closure

With her sister gone missing in Los Angeles, Kansas-based Nina (Catia Ojeda) heads west to investigate her disappearance in this dry, quirky comedy from director Alex Goldberg. Her journey leads to encounters with a sassy queer detective (James Andrew Walsh), a gay could-be-bad-guy Iskander (Marcelo Tubert), and other wacky and horny locals. (Opens October 18, Indie Rights)

DVD and VOD

The Hours and Times

This essential New Queer Cinema title from the early 1990s (file it alongside Todd Haynes’ Poison, Gregg Araki’s The Living End, and Tom Kalin’s Swoon) has been beautifully restored by Oscilloscope Laboratories, Sundance, and UCLA Film & Television Archive. Director Christopher Münch’s black-and-white 1992 drama imagines what might have happened when a young John Lennon (Ian Hart, who again played Lennon in 1994’s Backbeat) and The Beatles’ gay manager, Brian Epstein (David Angus), spent a long weekend together in Barcelona. Speaking of which, here’s hoping Bravo’s miniseries based on Vivek J. Tiwary’s excellent graphic novel about Epstein, The Fifth Beatle, is still in the works. (Now available on Blu-ray, Oscilloscope Laboratories)
 

Pig Hag

Previously seen in Revry’s mockumentary series Gayborhood, Anna Schlegel makes a star turn as Jodie, a lonely, terminally single, zaftig 30-something Guns N’ Roses fan whose closest relationship is with a clique of sassy queens including Michael Henry and Pete Zias of the hysterical, bizarre Dumpster Queens YouTube series. After Jodie spends the night with Dustin (Tony Jacksha), a fellow fan she meets at a concert, he ghosts her, sending her into a downward spiral. Will her homo squad be able to give her life again? (Now available on Blu-ray, Gravitas Ventures)

TV and Streaming

Letterkenny

This cult Canadian comedy, about a fictitious rural Ontario town, becomes a Hulu original with its seventh installment, and there’s a whole lot of LGBTQ going on within the populace, including lesbian hottie Katy (Michelle Mylett) and bisexual First Nations reservation leader Tanis (Kaniehtiio Horn, a real-life Mohawk). All seasons are now available on Hulu. So binge, queen, binge! (Streaming now on Hulu)
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb9YqIqkcN4

Arrow

The eighth and final season of producer Greg Berlanti’s trailblazing, Arrowverse-establishing, LGBTQ-inclusive superhero universe—which revealed last season that Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) son, William (Ben Lewis), is gay—will see the return of many characters throughout its run, including gay actor Colton Haynes’ Roy Harper, John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn, and Katrina Law’s lesbian assassin Nyssa al Ghul. Also expect surprise cameos (Matt Ryan’s bisexual Constantine, cough, cough) as Arrow goes out with a bang… and quiver. (Premieres October 15 on The CW)
 

Liberty: Mother of Exiles

Designer Diane Von Furstenberg’s efforts to raise money for a new museum that houses the Statue of Liberty’s original torch (which was replaced during an extensive renovation) serves as a narrative thread for World of Wonder masterminds Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s fact-filled, briskly paced documentary on the history of the Statch and what it has represented over its 130 or so years. While David Copperfield doesn’t share how he made it disappear during a 1983 TV special, there’s a lot of fascinating stuff here, including its role in Trump-era immigration-related political actions. (Premieres October 17 on HBO)
 

Looking for Alaska

The OC creator Josh Schwartz’s eight-episode adaptation of John Green’s 2005 novel stars Charlie Plummer as Miles “Pudge” Halter, a transfer student at an Alabama boarding high school. Be here for This Is Us star Ron Cephas Jones as the school’s gay religion teacher, Dr. Hyde. In a scene midway through the series, when Hyde discusses his late partner, you may shed a tear or two. (Premieres October 18 on Hulu)
 

Sid & Judy

If Renée Zellweger left you thirsty for more of Judy Garland’s latter-years goodness (and, well, tragedy), then be there for Showtime’s new documentary about the icon and her third husband, Sidney Luft, who produced her major comeback vehicle, 1954’s A Star Is Born. With access to a treasure trove of material sourced from Luft’s estate, including never-publicly-heard phone recordings and Luft’s unpublished memoir (he divorced Garland in 1965 and passed away in 2005), gay director Stephen Kijak takes us both over and under the rainbow. (Premieres October 18 on Showtime)

Photo: Ian Hart as John Lennon in The Hours and Times.

Lawrence is a New York-based travel and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Time Out New York and The New York Post.
@LawrenceFerber