Tag: time

Time for some ‘Watermelon,’ and one of the best queer movies ever / Queerty

Time for some ‘Watermelon,’ and one of the best queer

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Groundbreaker: The Watermelon Woman

Strange how Cheryl Dunye, one of the great lesbian filmmakers of our time, has had such a low-profile career. After a series of short and experimental films, Dunye arrived on the New Queer Cinema scene with her rom-com/drama The Watermelon Woman, which combined scripted and documentary film techniques into a meta-narrative that walks the line between reality and fantasy.

The film stars Dunye as Cheryl, an alternate-reality version of herself: a black lesbian film enthusiast. While doing research on classic films of the 03s and 40s, Dunye becomes fascinated by an actress billed only as “The Watermelon Woman” (an unfortunate real-life practice for African-American actresses, who had to adopt caricature-like stage names rather than use their own). Cheryl becomes obsessed with learning more about the woman, particularly after she discovers that the actress in question was also a lesbian. Meanwhile, Cheryl also begins a flirtation with the beautiful Diana (Guinevere Turner), a leggy, brainy beauty with a passion for film of her own.

The Watermelon Woman uses its unusual format to comment on everything from queer dating to historical erasure to racism and homophobia. Dunye closes the film with a title card revealing that the story of the film is fiction by necessity: sometimes, thanks to the erasure of queer history, we have to imagine our own. It’s also not hard to see the wide-ranging influence of the film in contemporary LGBTQ artists such as Lee Daniels, John Cameron Mitchell, Mark Christopher, Todd Haynes, and, in particular, Lena Waithe. That Dunye has only made one feature film since The Watermelon Woman is our loss.

Quirky, funny, and inspiring, we offer it up as both an overlooked LGBTQ romantic comedy, and an inspiration: even when we must fill in the gaps of our own history with fiction, we can still find truth.

Streams on Showtime, Amazon, YouTube & Hulu.

Me every time : actuallesbians

Me every time : actuallesbians

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

“Batwoman” Season 2: In Our Ongoing Uprising for Black Lives, Ryan Wilder Is Right on Time

"Batwoman" Season 2: In Our Ongoing Uprising for Black Lives,

Almost six months ago to the day, Javicia Leslie was announced to follow Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane as Ryan Wilder, the first ever Black Batwoman. My very serious and understated quote here on Autostraddle, the lesbian paper of record, was an all caps “LET’S FUCKING GOOOOO!!!!!!” — so, no big deal. Supremely chill vibes. And it certainly hasn’t hurt that Leslie has spent the entire time since her announcement seemingly becoming a one-woman Black Bisexual Queer Nerd Catnip, complete with an enviable kicks collection, an adorable dog (he’s a pit bull rescue!), and ahem, an affinity for bodysuits. Still, whatever my confidence, it was hard to suppress nervous butterflies when I received the Batwoman Season Two press screener for review.

Just to get it out of the way, right at the top: Ryan Wilder is not Kate Kane. I suspect that sentence might make some of the original fans uneasy, but let me follow up by saying the decision to make Ryan a woman of her own changes very little about what makes Batwoman beloved. Ryan may run warm in all the places where Kate instead chose calculated cool, but she loses none of the badass strength that makes Batwoman who she is at her core. Her tomboy swag’s more Nike Air Force 1s than Kate’s James Bond bowtie, but the bravado itself is still undeniable. They are both proud, out lesbians.

In Leslie’s hands, Ryan Wilder is instantly and infinitely likable; she’s a little emotionally raw and surprisingly snarky (her humor was easily my favorite thing about her!). Overall, she comes across as very true to her original character description, “a girl who would steal milk from an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands” — which just happens to be my favorite kind of woman. (Other parts of her character’s description, namely having “spent years as a drug-runner” were mercifully and correctly adjusted after casting a Black actor in the role.) If for some reason none of that wins you over, please also know that Ryan is a plant mom!! And as a fellow plant mom, please know that we are the best kind of people.

Ryan Wilder reads a newspaper in her RV van — that is also her home — while sitting next to her beloved plant.

Going into its second season, Batwoman couldn’t have possibly had more stacked against it. The series namesake abruptly left after one season, the writers had to write them out while also maintaining continuity — when nearly all the characters of the series, including the lead villain, are directly related to Kate either by blood or love or both (I found Ryan’s new connections to Alice to be shockingly unexpected, yet organic and fully believable). They had to do all of that while in the middle of a global pandemic the likes of which haven’t been seen in 100 years! Oh and then they cast a Black woman to literally be the first very Black person ever to don the Batsuit on film; Javicia’s casting announcement came during a summer of Black Lives Matter protests and uprisings and now her TV debut as Batwoman will occur as we are once against bearing witness to large-scale white supremacist violence in this country. So again… supremely chill stakes here. Really just going for the hat trick.

The thing about comic book superheroes is that on the surface they may seem silly — all brightly colored suits and flying capes and gizmo gadgets and KABLAAM — but they are some of the most homegrown, American mythos that we have. They’re the stories we tell children, right from the youngest age, to explain right from wrong. They become buried deep, right into the marrow of who we are. Even people who have never picked up a comic book in their life or barely ever watch television know who Batman is. And when Batman is a billionaire playboy with fancy bat toys, or Ironman is a billionaire playboy with fancy Iron Hearts, or Superman is a homegrown blue-eyed boy right from small-town Kansas, that says a lot about who we believe can be “heroes” in the first place.

Kate Kane originally mattered, not only because her story was great, but because at the height of national debates around “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”gay marriage, and what it means to have the full rights of citizenship as a gay person in this country — she was kicked out of West Point for being a lesbian. But now it’s 2021, we are facing the dying gasps (we can only hope) of a fascist wannabe dictator that has cannibalisticly fed from and emboldened the violent racist backbone that has long existed since the founding of this country. After years and years of work at the hands of Black activists, cries of Black Lives Matter are finally sweeping this country. It’s time for a new story.

I’m glad that Caroline Dries, Batwoman showrunner, for deciding to make Ryan an entirely new character — not to recast Kate or to adapt another DC property into the role. The questions we are facing, the stories we need to tell ourselves now, they require fierce new answers. At least from the premiere episode, it appears that Batwoman won’t shy away from the responsibilities that it’s facing. I don’t want to wade too far into spoiler territory, but Ryan’s backstory comes with multiple points of entry to explore the ways that systematic racism impacts Black America Gotham specifically and opens up critiques of state-sanctioned violence that I don’t believe Kate, a military trained fighter who’s father is the head of the CROWS, would have been able to ask.

In her LA times profile published just this weekend, Javicia Leslie feels the weight on her shoulders, but she’s not letting it crush her. “Now that Ryan is becoming Batwoman, I feel like it opens up the possibility of what it really means to be Batwoman and that it doesn’t really matter who’s under the suit… Anyone can put that suit on and be a hero.” Superheroes shine brightest when they are made for their moment.

In this Batwoman season two review, Ryan Wilder is in the Batsuit with her wig and make held in her arms.

That doesn’t mean that this Batwoman is robbed of joy! I’ve already mentioned Ryan’s contagious snark, but as someone who deep in my bones loves a good woman villain, Rachel Skarsten continues to make my skin crawl in the BEST kind of ways. The fight choreography is slick, the bat toys are aplenty, and there’s gay melodrama and tortured loves. All the things that made the first season of Batwoman grow into its best are accounted for and welcomed back. Narratively speaking, what’s being asked of the Batwoman writers’ room is a tall order by any definition. They handle the transition as smoothly as anyone could have asked them, finding a tone that feels like its past but also a new and exciting terrain. And there’s enough about Kate left to continue to unfold in the episodes to come. Just as a nerd and a fan, I was impressed that anyone could pull that shit off.

Next week we’ll be back with even more details and a weekly Batwoman recap (!!!!) from Nic (!!!) — one of my favorite queer recappers in the game right now (have you read her work on Black Lightning?? It’s so smart and so, so good!!) — but for now I just wanted to say: If the writers of Batwoman can successfully walk the tightrope of “What happened to Kate Kane?” and the staggering, necessary demands of this moment we are living in, and still manage to get in a few flirtatious winks while they’re at it? There’s absolutely no telling what’s next.

Batwoman Season Two premieres Sunday, January 17, on The CW.

Don Jr. wasted absolutely no time b*tching about his dad’s Twitter ban…on Twitter / Queerty

Don Jr. wasted absolutely no time b*tching about his dad’s

2020 forced some major existential questions into the foreground of society, and 2021 is already adding a few to the list. As of Friday evening, there’s one more: Who is Donald Trump without Twitter? The soon-to-be-former president was banned from the service for life on Friday evening.

We imagine Trump will be asking himself that when he wakes in the middle of the night and reaches for his phone from muscle memory only to realize he can’t tweet, and you can be sure his closest allies will be huffing about the move. And first up from the inner circle is Don Jr., who wasted zero time complaining about the unfairness of it all.

Of course, he aired his grievances on Twitter, first writing: “We are living Orwell’s 1984. Free-speech no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what’s left is only there for a chosen few. This is absolute insanity!”

And following that up with: “So the ayatollah, and numerous other dictatorial regimes can have Twitter accounts with no issue despite threatening genocide to entire countries and killing homosexuals etc… but The President of the United States should be permanently suspended,” adding, “Mao would be proud.”

For context, Twitter banned Donald Trump from the platform for life less than 11 days before he is scheduled to leave office. The move came two days after the president incited an angry mob to break into the U.S. Capitol while Congress was in the process of certifying Joe Biden‘s victory, a terroristic rampage that left five dead and the nation stunned at a traitorous element in its midst.

Senator Josh Hawley made a similar “free speech is dead” declaration after Simon & Schuster canceled his book deal in the wake of the events at the Capitol. Hawley was one of the senators accused of helping to incite the mob of rioters. Of course nobody is entitled to a book deal under the First Amendment, just like free speech has limits, inciting violence among them.

“One Day at a Time” Is Officially Cancelled, We’ll Be Crying Into Our Cafecitos Forever

"One Day at a Time" Is Officially Cancelled, We'll Be

I have these Christmas themed Oreos, this bottle of water, and repeats of Gossip Girl on television. This will sustain me.

Queer as in F*ck You

“This report emerged out of the need to better understand the ways in which Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QT2SBIPOC) communities are disproportionately impacted by surveillance and criminalization at all levels—from the state-endorsed to the corporate-led—and to resource these communities to push back.”

Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures, report from The Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

Lost in a (Mis)Gendered Appalachia. For centuries, national mythology has emphasized rural America’s supposed masculinity. It has caused incalculable damage.

Hark! The Herald Dolly Sings. RuPaul interviewing Dolly for Marie Claire.

Saw This, Thought of You

Nothing Made Sense in 2020 — Unless You Were on the Internet by E. Alex Jung for Vulture. This is easily the very best thing I read this week.

The above ^^^ piece is a part of Vulture’s First (and hopefully ONLY) Quarries Awards, a made-up and “ad hoc awards show for the culture that came out of our year in quarantine.” Which Heather Hogan correctly described as follows, “Nothing I’ve seen captures the horror and absurdity and joy of 2020 on the internet quite like this.”

These Lonely Otters Found Love in Lockdown Just in Time for the Holidays. (From Stef, a forever ambassador of team #LoveIsALie: “so glad online dating worked out for SOMEONE 🙄”)

6 Weed-y Gifts For Chill Holidays

The Rise and Fall of the Co-ops. The Bronx cooperative was a communist utopia, until it wasn’t.

When Did Charities Become The New People Magazine Cover Reveal?

One Day at a Time Gone for Good: Efforts to Find a New Home for Beloved Comedy Fail. Of most relevance:

“Sony and ViacomCBS had been in talks to renew the comedy for a fifth season on streamer CBS All Access. That deal was stymied by contractual limitations that were part of the show’s original Netflix deal, which limited when another streaming platform could run the series. Netflix would have had to sign off on a rival streamer reviving the series starring Justina Machado and Rita Moreno.

The goal, per sources, would have been for CBS All Access to air a fifth season in 2021. That would have been a year earlier than Netflix’s pact for the series allowed.”

I will never — and I mean never forgive Netflix for this. Such cruelty! If they aren’t going to stream new episodes of the series, and CBS wasn’t asking for the old Netflix ones in syndication, then why care if new episodes are streamed someplace else? Especially with less than year left on its exclusivity period? Just let it be free! (I wrote a memorial for One Day at a Time the first time it was cancelled, and it’s more timely than ever tonight: “We will keep moving, we will go harder, we will keep celebrating. The fight for representation on television – for women, for queer folks, for Latinxs – is very far from being over. While we gear up for what comes next, we’ll raise our flags and dance loudly in the streets. It’s what Abuelita Lydia would’ve wanted.”)

OK — this is actually too dope for words:

The Salam School Stars Are Bigger Than Basketball, meet the all-Muslim girls’ team from Milwaukee that’s challenging gender-norms within their community—and winning a lot along the way.

Political Snacks

Water is joining gold, oil & other commodities traded on Wall Street, revealing new scarcity. This is bad news.

And I mean, VERY bad news.

one more time for my beautiful les-beans ^_^ : actuallesbians

one more time for my beautiful les-beans ^_^ : actuallesbians

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

HBO’s ‘His Dark Materials’ is about to introduce a whole lotta gayness. Time to catch up! / Queerty

HBO’s ‘His Dark Materials’ is about to introduce a whole

Welcome to the Weekend Binge. Every Friday, we’ll suggest a binge-able title designed to keep you from getting too stir crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.

The Daemonic: His Dark Materials

We here at Queerty love calling attention to films and series that might not get enough recognition for their treatment of queer issues, characters or history…as well as just for being damn good entertainment. This week, we offer up possibly the most underrated show on television: His Dark Materials.

Fans of the series of novels by Philip Pullman or the ill-fated big-screen adaptation The Golden Compass will no doubt know the power and intrigue of the original story. For the uninitiated, the trilogy of novels follows a young girl named Lyra (Daphne Keene of Logan fame). Lyra lives in a universe parallel to our own, one in which souls take the form of spirit animal guides called Daemons that live outside of the body as constant companions. In Lyra’s universe, a religious government called The Magesterium rules over all creation, obsessed with a strange material called Dust which clings to all living adults.

When Lyra’s best friend becomes one of a series of children to mysteriously disappear she embarks on a thrilling adventure alongside the aeronaut Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda) to discover the fate of the kids…and why the Magesterium wants to use children for a deadly experiment. Armed with a magical compass that tells the future, Lyra must outwit the sadistic Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) and ruthless Lord Asriel (James McAvoy), a pair of sparring adults terrified of Dust and obsessed with young Lyra. Meanwhile, back in our universe, a put-upon boy named Will (Amir Wilson) searches for his long-lost father (Andrew Scott), and discovers a hole in space-time that leads connects Lyra’s world with our own.

That’s the tip of the iceberg folks. As a story, His Dark Materials deserves mention alongside classics such as Dune, Harry Poter, Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia as one of the all-time great sci-fi/fantasy series. Moreover, the series includes a hearty dose of queer characters, particularly in the form of a couple of gay angels (yes, really) that show up mid-way through the story. The stories also offer a very strong critique of mixing religion with government, authoritarianism, and sexism & homophobia within the Catholic church. The HBO adaptation features a wonderful cast, breathtaking special effects and–unlike the big-screen adaptation–doesn’t hold back on the violence or the criticism of religion. With Season 2 about to premiere in the US this week, now is the perfect time to get caught up and jump on the bandwagon of one of the most addictive series in recent memory.

Come for the adventure. Stay for the gay angels.

Streams on HBO Max.

Just shot my shot by msging a girl on Reddit for the first time, got me feeling like : actuallesbians

Just shot my shot by msging a girl on Reddit

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren do the ‘Time Warp’ with Tenacious D

Time Warp Buttigieg Warren

Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg joined Tenacious D to get young voters to “jump to the left”. (Tenacious D/ YouTube)

Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren did the “Time Warp” with Tenacious D in a truly iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show tribute to encourage voters to “jump to the left”.

The video is part of the Rock the Vote campaign, which urges “young people across the country to exercise their rights and represent their interests” by voting.

With just one week to go until the US presidential election, Jack Black and the rest of Tenacious D put on wigs, makeup and sequins to encourage young Americans to “Rock-y the vote”.

Sharing the video which “just saved 2020” on YouTube, Tenacious D wrote: “It’s astounding… time is fleeting… and the 2020 election is here.

“Time to ROCK-Y THE VOTE! And remember: it’s just a jump to the LEFT, and not a step to the right!”

As well as former Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, the “Time Warp” cover featured footage of the Rocky Horror Picture Show cast, interspersed with a multitude of queer icons including George Takei, Ilana Glazer, John Waters, King Princess, Phoebe Bridgers and Peaches.

Posting the video on Twitter, Warren wrote: “Thanks for letting me get in on this Rocky Horror remix, Jack Black and Tenacious D!

“Remember when you’re casting your ballot: ‘It’s just a jump to the left!’” 

One commenter wrote: “This is the BEST! Since the theatres are closed this year but the polls are open, this is the next best thing!”

One Twitter user responded: “In these uncertain times seeing Elizabeth Warren in a cover of the ‘Time Warp’ does give a glimmer of hope as the gathering storm approaches on Nov 3. #AndNotAStepToTheRight.”

“Man, the starpower in this vid,” wrote another. “A worthy cover for a worthy cause. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!”

It’s Time for the WNBA Finals, You Gays!

It's Time for the WNBA Finals, You Gays!

Welcome to the WNBA Finals! We did it, folks. Tonight, the number two seeded Las Vegas Aces take on the number one seeded Seattle Storm in Game 1, airing on ESPN2.

The Storm got here by sweeping the Minnesota Lynx, while the Aces went five games with the Sun. The Sun’s defense nearly shut down Vegas’ offense, but the Sun struggled to make shots and ultimately, you can’t win a game if you don’t score points. So here we are.

Seattle is a well-oiled machine and, judging by how they looked in the semis, they’re going to be hard to beat, especially with Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart locked in together. But the Aces have MVP A’ja Wilson and vet Angel McCoughtry who has just as much playoff experience as Bird.

Instead of a standard matchup preview, because that’s not really my thing, I thought we’d recap some of the out players on each team and what to watch for from each of them.

Seattle Storm

The Storm have Sue Bird. The last time the Storm were in the Finals, in 2018, they won. That was when we had masked Sue, doing superhero shit. She’s been in the WNBA since 2003 and any season now could be her last. She’s been plagued by knee injuries the last two years, but when she’s on the court she brings a quiet confidence and steady leadership to her team. Speaking of Sue Bird, maybe you’ve heard of her girlfriend?

Breanna Stewart returned from an Achilles injury this season looking like no time at all had passed. Her on-court chemistry with Bird is key to the team’s offensive flow and she was in the MVP conversation this year. There’s not really anything Stewie can’t do, and I lack the ability to break down her game in words other than “yes” and “wow.”

Natasha Howard is a key part of the Storm’s defense and when she’s also making shots on the other end of the floor, adds a lot to their game (Howard faced allegations of domestic violence from her wife last year.)

The team will be without Sami Whitcomb off the bench, as she went back to Australia to await the birth of her first child.

Las Vegas Aces

There are two players (both queer) to keep an eye on for the Aces, who will be difference makers for their team if they can get going. The first is Angel McCoughtry. McCoughty is a veteran who is in her first year with Vegas after spending 12 years with the Atlanta Dream, where she took them to several WNBA Finals appearances. She has more playoff experience than the rest of her team combined. She didn’t get a ton of minutes during the regular season and she was out last year with a knee injury so perhaps people forgot about Angel. But she reminded everyone why she is one of the best of all time in the semis, where she came out in Game 4 and casually dropped 29 points. If Angel is hot, watch out.

The other player who is sometimes overlooked but should not be underestimated is Danielle Robinson. She was insulted after the Sun hardly guarded her at all in the first game and came back determined to show she was a threat. Robinson is quick and can be quietly lethal. Don’t sleep on her. And, just because, here she is being very very cute with her wife:

Fun Stuff from the W This Week

Turns out viewership was up 68 percent this season, proving that a) there is an audience for women’s sports and b) if you put it on TV, people will watch it. LIKE WE’VE BEEN SAYING.

Last week, the Aces’ Kayla McBride opened up to The Players’ Tribune about her struggles with mental health. It’s vulnerable and real and worth a read.

There was some good trash talking on WNBA Twitter this week now that players are out of the Wubble. Candace Parker, who was named Defensive Player of the Year (voted on by media) failed to make a first or second defensive team (voted on by coaches), the first time in WNBA history that’s happened. She let the world know how she felt about it:

Meanwhile, while watching the ~questionable~ officiating in the Aces-Sun series, players shared their own experience with the refs in the Wubble.

The Aces Liz Cambage may have sat out the 2020 season, but she granted us with a Finals Week gift anyway: she posed for Playboy and talked about being 6’8” and enjoying sex. “Me doing Playboy is me celebrating my sexuality like, ‘Yeah, I am a straight six-foot-eight woman who likes to have sex.’ I’m a human; it’s what we do. As a female athlete, I feel like I’m not allowed to be sexy and I’m not allowed to be that person. All society wants from me is to sit down, shut up, go to training and play my sport.”