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!
Forget Marvel movies and Avatar: 3-D really gets put to use in director Alla Kovgan’s documentary on trailblazing queer dancer-choreographer Merce Cunningham, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 90. Kovgan restages 14 of Cunningham’s works to stunning, limbs-in-your-face effect, while looking back on his career and life—which included a long-term relationship with composer John Cage—through archival interviews and footage. (Opens December 13, Magnolia Pictures)
The Disappearance of My Mother
Benedetta Barzini, a 76-year-old former supermodel, will no longer tolerate a camera being pointed at her face–even if the man behind it is her gay son, Beniamino Barrese. His docu-portrait of his “disappearing” mother, who is now a professor and journalist, traverses her glory days as the first Italian model to grace the cover of U.S. Vogue, mixing in legends like Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Richard Avedon, and Lauren Hutton, who makes an appearance and also tells Barrese to fuck off. It’s a fascinating study of a glamour girl turned would-be hermit. (Opens December 13, Kino Lorber)
Super-busy Charlie’s Angels star Kristen Stewart gets all the spotlight (and a blonde pixie cut) in this one, playing iconic French New Wave actress Jean Seberg. Benedict Andrews’ biopic focuses on the period when Seberg was targeted by a shady, racist-y 1968 FBI plot because of her support for civil rights groups and her romantic affair with Black Panthers activist Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie). (Opens December 13, Amazon Studios)
DVD and VOD
Teenage Afrikaan farmer Janno (Brent Vermeulen) is thirsty for local butch rugby hunk Hennie (Benré Labuschagne), but his strict religious upbringing keeps him deep in the closet. When his parents take in an orphan, Pieter (Alex van Dyk), to “save” him from a life of gay-for-pay prostitution and drug addiction, the boy soon senses his new brother’s secrets. While one might expect writer-director Etienne Kallos’ South African coming-of-age tale to play out like a variation on 2017’s God’s Own Country, this is more of a moody, Bergmanesque, Cain and Abel–inspired drama. (Available now on Blu-ray, Altered Innocence)
It: Chapter Two
Trigger warning: The second part of director Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel opens with a brutal, upsetting scene centered around a gay bashing, which King says was inspired by the real-life 1984 murder of a gay Bangor, Me., resident, Charlie Howard (queer Quebecois filmmaker Xavier Dolan plays the victim). Once you’re past that, the scares keep coming as the Losers Club reunites 27 years later to combat a diabolical, murderous force in Derry. In a moving queer twist, Muschietti runs with King’s suggestion that Richie Tozier (Bill Hader in his adult form and Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard in his adolescent form) was gay and in love with one of the other Losers—but in case you didn’t catch the movie in theaters, we ain’t saying which. (Available now on DVD, Warner Bros.)
Where We Go From Here
Writer-director Anthony Meindl—who runs an Acting Workshop and has trained the likes of Laverne Cox, Batwoman’s Ruby Rose, and Chaz Bono—weaves together tales of people affected by terrorist acts, including a gay couple in Orlando struggling with monogamy. Don’t let the terrorists—or convention—win! (Available now on DVD, Wolfe Video)
TV and Streaming
With Disney+ up and running, it seems Marvel is axing most of its shows on other networks and platforms including Cloak and Dagger and, with its third season, Runaways. The happy-sad news? We get a crossover between the two series, and queer couple Karolina (Virginia Gardner) and Nico (Lyrica Okano) are getting married, marking the first LGBTQ nuptials for the MCU. (Streaming December 16 on Hulu)
Main image: Kristen Stewart in Seberg.