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 Stream: Three Months
Writer/director Jarrod Frieder’s much talked about spec script finally makes the miraculous journey to the big screen. Troye Sivan stars as Caleb, a teen living with his grandparents (Ellen Burstyn & Louis Gossett, Jr.) in Hollywood, Florida in 2011. On the eve of his high school graduation, Caleb learns he’s been exposed to HIV. So sets off three months of fear and soul searching as Caleb retests for the virus and confronts his own past traumas rooted in the death of his father and the remarriage of his mother. Caleb also falls for the handsome Estha (Viveik Kalra), a closeted, Indian immigrant dealing with an HIV scare of his own.
Empathetic writing by Frieder and a directorial style that evokes both Kevin Smith and John Hughes make Three Months into something we once thought impossible: a very funny comedy about HIV. When the story gets serious—and at times, it does get very serious—that same empathy, as well as tender turns by Burstyn and Gossett also give the film an undercurrent of emotional power. In the lead, Sivan gives a committed, if wooden performance. That stiffness contrasts hard with the subtle work by Karla, or the intensity of vets Burstyn, Gossett, and Judy Greer (hilarious as a closet lesbian). Still, Three Months will offer viewers—particularly of the queer variety—a lot to enjoy with its blend of sensitivity, humor and youthful romance. It also hints at a bright career ahead for Jarrod Frieder as an unapologetic queer filmmaker.
Streams on Paramount+ February 23.
The Indie: Unsound
Anyone looking for something unconventional this week won’t want to miss Unsound, the new indie drama premiering on Fuse. The film follows Noah, (Reece Noi) a struggling musician ever-disillusioned with his life. When he crosses paths with Finn (Yiana Pandelis), a deaf, trans man, instant sparks fly. As their love blossoms, the two plot to save Finn’s nightclub for the deaf from permanent closure, and Noah faces growing doubts about his own career in music.
We’ve never seen a queer story quite like Unsound, and in a year where the similarly-themed Coda gets to snag Oscar nominations, we’re happy to see a LGBTQ take on the material. Noi and Pandelis both give fine performances, and the two have strong chemistry together that makes their characters’ romance easy to invest in. The movie also advances images of LGBTQ, disabled people is just an added bonus here. Simple, charming, and well-acted by the two leads, we recommend it for anyone interested in seeing representation advance, or for anyone needing a sweet love story on the screen.
Airs February 18 on Fuse.
The Legit: Slave Play
Writer Jeremy O. Harris’ landmark drama about race, sex, and power finally comes to the West Coast direct from Broadway. For the uninitiated, Slave Play snagged an unprecedented 12 Tony Award nominations, breaking the previous record held by Angels in America. Then, a shocker: it didn’t win a single one. The play, which chronicles a group of couples who engage in “slave play,” that is, S&M role-playing based around race and the antebellum south, has been both hailed as a masterpiece and condemned as exploitative trash. Which is true? Grab a ticket, and get ready for a night of theatre that–love it or hate it–you’ll not soon forget.
Runs Feb 9-March 13 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
The Step-Out: LGBTQ night at Hamilton
Broadway in Hollywood presents its first LGBTQ night of socializing and culture this year, with an extra special evening at the still-hottest ticket in town, Hamilton. The show that picked up 11 Tonys and a Pulitzer returns to the historic Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, bringing with it Lin-Manuel Miranda’s retelling of the life of Alexander Hamilton, and his ever-popular hip-hop score. LGBTQ night at Hamilton will kick off with a special reception at the historic Wood & Vine restaurant for appetizers, cocktails and mingling. Have a drink and make friends before the 8pm curtain, then mingle some more at intermission. Tickets start as low as $49, making this big queer outing a must-experience.
February 23 at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets available from Broadway in Hollywood.
The Exclusive: Rudy Touzet “Treason” (The Alliance Remix)
We snagged the debut of this new remix by crooner Rudy Touzet. “Treason” finds Touzet mulling on the heartbreak of getting out of a destructive relationship…and still missing his former love. This dreamy remix combines the pensive lyrics with a pounding dance beat, and a few extra chords to transform the song into a dance anthem of triumph. Unlike other remixes which bury the delicate strains of the original, this “Alliance Remix” manages to preserve everything we like about the original while still adding some uplifting energy.
Streams on YouTube.
The Spin: Jaime Nanci “Escalante Street”
A reader recommended we have a look at this new single from genderfluid singer Jamie Nanci. In short, it impressed us: a sensual beat and Nanci’s silvery upper range evoke the likes of Sam Smith, Boy George, and even Annie Lennox. It also cries out for a dance remix of its own. This kind of sexy, pensive track once fueled the high-energy dance remixes of the late 90s and early 2000s. As it is, we love this version for its arousing vibe, perfect for some amorous time with someone beautiful.
Streams on YouTube.
The Sip: The Hamilton
In honor of Hamilton hosting a queer-themed night (as every great musical should, of course) we offer up this week’s apropos cocktail selection: the Hamilton. Fizzy, tangy, and intoxicating, it has all the ingredients that a good cocktail–or a good musical–should feature.
- 1.5 oz Cognac
- 3.5 oz Ginger Ale
- .25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail glass. Stir well and serve.