Tig Notaro and Dakota Johnson are ‘OK’ with Sundance
We like a high-profile queer project hitting the Sundance Film Festival, and the married directorial team of Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne is doing just that later this month with their debut feature, “Am I OK?” Written by Lauren Pomerantz (“SNL,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”), the film stars Dakota Johnson and Sonoya Mizuno (“Maniac,” “Devs”) as best friends whose relationship faces a series of challenges when one of them decides to move to London just as the other confesses her love. It co-stars June Diane Raphael, queer actors Sean Hayes and Kiersey Clemons, and co-director Notaro in a small role. As for the resolution of the will-they-or-won’t-they trope, we’re going to just assume that lesbian love wins the day. Because it should. Because the world is closer to perfection when it does. It’s 2022 and we want a happy ending.
‘Letterkenny’ spins off with ‘Shoresy’
If you’re still not part of the cult of the quite queer and completely Canadian “Letterkenny,” you’re missing one of the more charming, absurd, profane and sexy sitcoms of the past few years. But if you’re already in the know, then you might be shocked to learn that the character of Shoresy is leaving for his own series. Back to you uninitiated types: Shoresy is an aggressive yet anonymous hockey player, seen only from the back (and voiced by “Letterkenny” star and creator Jared Keeso). His main activities are delivering filthy trash talk to all other hockey players, and having sex with all those other hockey players’ moms. Currently in production between “Letterkenny” seasons, “Shoresy” will follow him as he moves north to work with a different hockey team. Reportedly, “Letterkenny” writer and co-star Jacob Tierney (who plays the wildly inappropriate gay Christian Glen) will tag along for some of these adventures, as will “Kids in The Hall” icon Scott Thompson. This gives us great comfort, because it’s established “Letterkenny” lore that heterosexuality must never exist unqueered in some way.
Ira Sachs embarks on “Passages” with Ben Whishaw
Not enough bisexuality in queer cinema, that’s what we always say, so leave it to acclaimed queer indie filmmaker Ira Sachs (“Love Is Strange”) to work that side of the street for his next film, “Passages.” Written and directed by Sachs, it’s the story of a gay male couple — played by Ben Whishaw (the recent James Bond films and, most importantly, “Paddington”) and German arthouse heartthrob Franz Rogowski (“Undine,” “Transit”) – who’ve been together 15 years. Then one of them has an affair with a woman (Adele Exarchopoulos, “Blue Is the Warmest Color”), with all the consequences that attend that sort of thing. And while we’re not a fan of the troubled, homewrecking bisexual trope in the media, we trust Sachs’ brand of thoughtful exploration of queer life and all the ways it might not always line up neatly with our best hopes for ourselves. Recently wrapped, look for it to pop up at all the right film festivals later in 2022.
Tony Kushner writes for Spielberg, Michelle Williams, and Seth Rogen
Most of you didn’t venture out to see “West Side Story” on the big screen (we get it, there’s still a pandemic), but that collaboration between Steven Spielberg and “Angels in America” playwright Tony Kushner — the pair first worked together on “Munich” and “Lincoln” — has paved the road for yet another team-up. This time they’ve co-written “The Fabelmans,” a semi-autobiographical drama about Spielberg’s own childhood in Arizona. Starring up-and-comer Gabriel LaBelle (“The Predator”), it’s the coming-of-age story about a Spielberg-like teenager, and, we assume, how those early experiences found their way into his work. It also features Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, and a supporting roster of notable child actors like Oakes Fegley (“Pete’s Dragon”), Nicolas Cantu (“The Walking Dead: World Beyond”), and Julia Butters (“Once Upon a Time In Hollywood”). Already in post-production, look for this one to hit theaters in November.
Romeo San Vicente’s New Year resolution is continued excess in all things.
Photo by KathClick