An essential document for our collective queer history

Marsha P. Johnson was at the Stonewall Inn when the police raided the bar June 28, 1969, and she helped start the riots that mark the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. She was a beloved fixture in Greenwich Village for 30 years; she co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, modeled for Warhol, protested with […]

The match that became a circus

When I was coming out and learning about the various LGBT people who came before me, one of the images I saw repeated the most was the last shot of the absurdist tennis match called the Battle of the Sexes, when then-closeted Billie Jean King backhanded the ball past chauvinist huckster Bobby Riggs’s right and […]

A powerful and haunting mystery from Jane Campion

I could watch Elisabeth Moss do anything. A few years ago, at the height of her fame as proto-feminist Peggy on Mad Men, Excedrin started rerunning an old commercial she did for them, and it’s utterly unlike anything else you might see on TV selling something; she could be doing a monologue from A Doll’s […]

A modern western thriller with a conscience

Taylor Sheridan writes modern western thrillers with something like consciences. In Sicario, drug war on the U..S Mexico border corrupted the best of intentions. One of last year’s Best Picture nominees Hell and High Water was about two brothers who robbed a scurrilous bank that had cheated their mother out of her land. Wind River, […]

‘Atomic Blonde’ is a landmark as a super-queer action film

Twenty years ago, Rupert Everett, fresh off his star making turn in My Best Friend’s Wedding, lobbied to become the star of a gay superspy franchise. It never happened despite Everett seemingly being born to play such a role. Neither Hollywood financiers nor the action film ticket-buyers were quite ready for such a character, or […]

A romantic comedy that’s both fresh and familiar

Kumail meets Emily when she sort-of-heckles his standup comedy performance that is centered on his immigration experience. He asks if anyone else is from Pakistan, and Emily, a young blonde woman from North Carolina, woops in response. He joshingly admonishes her, she wittily snaps back, and he hits on her after the show. She makes […]

‘Okja’ shouldn’t be missed

I think the best reason to applaud the ascendance of the Netflix and Amazon TV and film studios is their willingness to fund the ambitious projects of artists like the Wachowskis (Sense8), Jill Soloway (Transparent) and Aziz Ansari (Master of None) – and now Bong Joon Ho, who directed the insane, groundbreaking Snowpiercer, as well […]

A most salient portrait of evil

When Miguel Arteta and Mike White started filming Beatriz at Dinner last August, I doubt they could have predicted how salient the film would be when it was released ten months later. The biting, mostly comic commentary on class, race and manners is particularly unsettling because Trump won, because what may have been written as […]

Finally, ‘Wonder Woman’ is here

Infamously, since Warner Bros. decided to create a crossover-heavy “universe” with its superheroes, the studio’s comic book films have been at best wrong-headed and underwhelming (Man of Steel) and at worst incompetently made and pointless (Suicide Squad). The fear that they’d screw up a Wonder Woman film after waiting decades to greenlight it was justified. […]

Ridley Scott delivers another slice of deep-space terror

Alien: Covenant is the eighth movie in the 38-year-old sci-fi horror Alien franchise. Following 2012’s Prometheus, the financially successful but fan-loathed prequel, Covenant tries to walk a fine line: The film throws enough red meat to ravenous Alien fanboys with stomach-bursting, face-sucking, don’t-go-in-the-basement grotesquery to get away with continuing Prometheus’ much-maligned, but wildly ambitious origin […]

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