Stepping out on a movie date this weekend? Netflix and chillin? Whatever your entertainment needs, we got your back (and hopefully your mind) with Queerty’s weekly “Culture Club” column with some of the highlights of new releases, streaming shows, classics worth revisiting, and what to drink while you watch.
The Step Out: Downton Abbey – The Movie
Anyone desiring tea, old English wit or old English scandal can rejoice: Downton Abbey, the popular BBC/PBS series has made the transition to the big screen, and with the full cast intact. Set a few years after the series finale, the film picks up with the Downton residents in a tizzy over a visit by the king and queen. Scoffing and sweating ensue, though the real drama of the movie comes in the form of closeted butler Tom Barrow (once again played by Robert James-Collier) exploring his sexuality, and a long-running feud between the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith, in full acid tongue) and her estranged cousin Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton). The film shouldn’t disappoint fans of the series, or anyone else who enjoys upstairs-downstairs (or Upstairs/Downstairs) drama.
In cinemas September 20.
The Dragzilla: Cassandro the Exotico
Meet Cassandro, fixture of the Luca Libre wrestling circuit in Mexico, an avowed drag queen and out-gay man. This documentary biopic about his life, career and impact finally comes to streaming services this week. Now 47, Cassandro—real name Saul Armendariz—reflects on his life, his coming out and his reputation as the Liberace of wrestling. Part memoir, part confessional, Armendariz’s story reminds us all of the importance of coming out and visibility, especially on the eve of National Coming Out Month.
Available on Blu-Ray and DVD September 17.
The Provocative: Drive Me Home
This Italian road picture picked up a following on the worldwide festival circuit, and we know why. Drive Me Home follows the reunion of two childhood friends—one straight, the other gay—on a road trip across Europe. In a refreshing antidote to all those gay kid who never got over his love for the straight kid movies, Drive Me Home actually posits things the other way around, which raises some very interesting questions. Full of sexual tension and with two fine performances by Vinicio Marchioni and Marco D’Amore, Drive Me Home examines the point where straight and gay life meet, with all the complications intact.
Available on DVD/Blu-Ray and streaming services September 24.
The Spin: John Duff “Rich”
In case you hadn’t heard out-gay recording artist John Duff’s new hip-hop track—or, more to the point, seen the accompanying video—now would be a good time to do so. In “Rich,” Duff rips influencer & affluenza culture with savage jabs at everyone from the Kardashians to the Real Housewives to Anna Wintour. In his lyrics, Duff attacks the absurd pressure to adhere to certain gender and beauty standards, the vapidity of reality TV and the utter emptiness of materialism. Seldom does musical satire get this pointed, or this spot-on.
Streams on YouTube.
The Revived: The Dare Project
15 years ago, the short film Dare amassed a cult following thanks to some fine atmospherics and technical polish. The story concerns a lonely gay boy with a crush on a straight classmate. One night, said straight boy gets drunk, and the lonely gay boy makes his move. So then what happens? Now we know: the original cast and crew have reassembled for this short sequel, which picks up 15 years after the original. We don’t want to give away any twists here, other than to say both Dare and its sequel raise some provocative questions about sexuality and gender standards, not to mention how people evolve—or don’t—over time.
Available to watch at dareshortfilm.com
The Sip: The Downton Abbey
What better way to celebrate the release of Downton Abbey than with a titular cocktail? This citrus martini will have you spitting venom like the Dowager Countess…or possibly looking for strapping young butlers on Grindr.
- 1/2 Lime
- 3 oz Gin
- 2 oz St. Germain liqueur
- 1 oz Champagne
- Spiral of citrus rind
Squeeze lime into cocktail shaker. Add gin & St. Germain. Shake. Pour into a martini glass, and top with champagne. Add rind for optional garnish.