SCREENING ROOM

WATCH: Joseph Gordon-Levitt risks treason and Harvey Fierstein has a daughter

Welcome again to What To Watch – our biweekly guide to queer-interest highlights at the movie theaters, on DVD and VOD, streaming and TV.

Seen ’em or plan to? Anything else you can’t wait to see? Fire off in the comments…

Theatrical Releases

Julieta

(Opens December 21; Sony Pictures Classics)

The latest from Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodovar, who just enjoyed a career retrospective series at New York’s MoMA, is based on a trio of stories by Canadian author Alice Munro. Set in Madrid (fun fact: this was originally to be Almodovar’s maiden English venture), Julieta sees its title character during two distinct eras: her middle-aged present and several decades’ past. Setting the story in motion is a run-in with a friend of Julieta’s long-missing daughter. From there, a mystery unspools and series of profound events that ultimately guided her destiny. Yet another excellent, female-driven work – a la All About My Mother –  by the openly gay auteur.

 

DVD/VOD

 

Snowden

($34.98 Blu-ray, $29.98 DVD; Universal)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays the infamous American whistle-blower in the latest from director Oliver Stone. While Gordon-Levitt’s imitation of Snowden’s voice takes some getting used to, this is an excellent and refreshingly – especially from the director – non-bombastic biopic that sees the idealistic young man’s path through the world of intelligence and security to struggle with the decision to bring to light just how much our privacy is being invaded post 9/11. An ideal double feature with documentary Citizenfour. Extras include a Q&A and featurette.

 

Where The Bears Are: Season 5

($19.99 DVD; 3 Bears Entertainment)

In the latest season of uber and ursine-successful comedy-mystery web series – think Murder She Wrote meets Golden Girls with a lot of hair – married couple Nelson and Todd abscond to a Palm Springs clothing optional resort for their honeymoon, which prematurely ends with Todd’s mysterious disappearance. Did he fall for another man? Or is foul play at work? Wuh-oh! When Reggie and Wood show up, more twists, turns, a jaunt south of the border, and of course naughty antics follow! Features guest appearances by Chaz Bono, Perez Hilton, and others. This uncensored compilation includes plenty of extras, including a new 20-minute “Mother’s Day” episode, outtakes, commentary, and behind the scenes featurette.

 

Hairspray Live!

($22.98 DVD; Universal)

Jovial, colorful and energetic, the latest Broadway musical – which was originally adapted from a John Waters movie, about a spunky zaftig girl named Tracy Turnblad who fights for a spot on a TV dance show and racial equality – turned NBC live special can now be enjoyed over and over on DVD. The amazing line-up of stars includes Kristen Chenoweth, Ariana Grande, Martin Short, Sean Hayes, Billy Eichner, Derek Hough, and of course Harvey Fierstein reprising his Tony-winning role as the big-boned Mrs. Turnblad.

 

Teenage Kicks

($24.99 DVD; TLA)

In this Aussie import, close teenaged friends Dan and Miklos both arrive at a difficult crossroads. The latter, from an immigrant family, has come to an epiphany about his sexual identity and at the same time lost a brother, while Dan reconsiders a plan to leave town for greener pastures with Miklos. Feeling abandoned on both ends and confusion regarding his sexuality and allegiance to family, what will Miklos do? This feature debut from promising Aussie director Craig Boreham – whose previous short films have traveled the globe – is intense, yet sexy, stuff!

 

Streaming/Cable

Cheetah In August: Season 2

(BawnTV)

Dedicated to content about and by LGBT people of color, subscription streaming service BawnTV has made the first half of this dramatic series’ second season available as of December 20th. Creator Anthony Bawn’s series, originally produced for and released on Vimeo, follows an erstwhile athlete, August Chandler, who is plagued by inner demons and has an alter-ego named Cheetah – and the power, apparently, to heal others through sex and intimacy. Season Two sees August start to grasp that power while negotiating a new job, love, sex, and his family.

 

Gaysians

(Frameline on Vimeo)

Director Vicky Du’s 13-minute short film is among the newest acquisitions just made available for rent or purchase through the Vimeo channel of San Francisco’s Frameline Distribution (yes, part of the same entity that puts on their long-running, groundbreaking annual queer film festival). Through five NYC Asian-Americans, Du creates a vivid portrait indeed. Be sure to browse through the entire Frameline collection for plenty of diamonds and gems that have been almost impossible to see beyond film festival screenings.

 

ALSO OUT:

 

851d6192-99fa-4b4d-a634-b8658ab973d5_1-cba034bdaa4793421eda2e154eff985cThe Dressmaker

 

Sully

 

The Magnificent Seven

 

Dog Eat Dog