In this edition of our biweekly What To Watch we have quite an acclaimed batch of films and actors coming to theaters, DVD/VOD and streaming, including Jake Gyllenhaal in Tom Ford’s suspenseful Nocturnal Animals, in which he may be seeking revenge against ex-wife Amy Adams – which you’ll only find out by watching!
Let’s get to the trailers and details!
(Opens in select cities on Feb 24)
A modern companion piece to Paris Is Burning, Swedish director Sara Jordenö’s documentary revolves around seven people involved with NYC’s “kiki” scene, which is part of queer ballroom/vogue ball culture. Between footage from the colorful balls and fierce vogue competitions, we learn how these young LGBTQ people – largely of color, some homeless or dealing with serious challenges – live and find acceptance and celebration. 10! 10! 10! 10! 10!
(Opens March 3 at NYC’s Village East Cinema)
Openly gay Singaporean director Boo Junfeng has truly come of artistic age with this twisty yet subdued, beautifully shot feature. Screened at Cannes last year, Apprentice tells the story of a young prison guard, Aiman, who is drafted as apprentice to the seasoned resident executioner, Rahim. While he literally learns the ropes – death by hanging entails Singapore’s form of capital punishment – and Aiman grows closer to Rahim, we learn that the pair share a personal and complicated secret connection which could lead to serious consequences if and when it comes out…
($34.98 Blu-ray, $29.98 DVD; Universal)
Designer turned director Tom Ford’s sophomore feature film is a steamy, suspenseful and violent mash-up that brings to mind David Lynch, Brian DePalma and retro noir. Amy Adams stars as an art gallery owner in a loveless marriage. When she receives a manuscript from her ex, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, the film shows both flashbacks to their life together and also the manuscript’s rather disturbing story-within-the-story about an assault. Genre-bending and warped watching, and of course as elegant and stylish as one would expect from Ford. Extras include a 3-part making-of featurette.
($24.99 Blu-ray, $21.99 DVD; Altered Innocence)
Set in Berlin’s colorful and liberated underground scene, director Yony Lesyer’s real-life inspired features sees an American of Palestinian-Israeli descent, Ezra, engaging in debauchery with best friend Catharine, while trying to write something important. When the friends visit a hustler bar on a sort of dare, Ezra meets Sasha, a hustler from Russia, and so begins en even deeper delve into Berlin’s history, present and future with liberal helpings of music, partying and of course, desire. Peppered with cameos from a wide array of Berlin and alternative music and arts culture – including Berlin drag queen Gloria Viagra, Peaches, Dev Heynes of Blood Orange, Nina Hagen and German queer filmmaker legend Rosa Von Praunheim. Extras include a conversation between Praunheim and Leyser, a Peaches music video, booklet and more.
($24.99 Blu-ray, $14.99 DVD; Lionsgate)
One of the most critically acclaimed and profound LGBTQ titles of all time – we’re hoping it goes home with Oscars on the 26th – Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight is beautiful, moving, stereotype-shattering and a must-see. Adapted from Tarell McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, Moonlight entails three episodes from the life of Chiron, a young gay black Floridian. A childhood where he connects with a mentor and finds refuge from his drug addicted mother, adolescence and first sexual awakening and betrayal, and mid-20s. Extras include a trio of featurettes and director’s commentary.
Broadway producer Hunter Arnold (Spring Awakening) and actor Nick Blaemire (Cry-Baby) bring us this effervescent web series about a pair of recent college graduates, Ana () and Phil (Josiah Blount), as they navigate the beginnings of “real life.” For philosophy major Phil, who’s gay, that includes bartending at a gay bar called Tight Ends… The series premiered February 15th, with new episodes uploaded every Wednesday.
A New York-set, sex-positive webseries, Unicornland follows recently divorcee Annie as she seeks out new adventures in dating and bed. All stripe of LGBTQ characters and situations of course figure into Annie’s experiences, with generous doses of polyamory for good measure. The first 8-episode season dropped February 14th, so binge away!
Grace & Frankie: Season 2