Kit Connor’s had quite a year. The 19-year-old British actor experienced the darker side of internet fandom when he found himself coming out as bisexual after overly entitled internet “fans” with no boundaries demanded that he declare his sexuality or be denounced as baiting queer audiences. Silver lining: then he won his first Emmy award for his role as a bisexual teenager on the wildly popular Netflix series “Heartstopper.” Now the rising star is about to film “One of Us,” a horror mystery from first time writer-director Stefan van de Graaff. An allegorical story, it involves a funeral at which family members begin dying one by one, and youngest member Connor has to sort out why. Currently shooting in Belfast, the film co-stars ’90s “SNL” alum Siobhan Fallon-Hogan and “Game of Thrones” cast member Ian Beattie. Look for it later this year.
South by Southwest Film Festival has already delivered the premiere of your next queer film obsession. It’s called “Bottoms,” from “Shiva Baby” filmmaker Emma Seligman. It stars Rachel Sennott (“Shiva Baby” and last year’s wild “Bodies Bodies Bodies”) alongside “The Bear” breakout star Ayo Edebiri, leading an ensemble cast in a high school comedy about two unpopular teen lesbians – in their own words, shunned for being “gay, untalented and ugly.” Together they create a huge lie about starting an afterschool fight club and, well, very strange consequences come to pass, including some actual fighting. Early reports call it a “chaotic” Gen Z moviegoing experience, and that sounds extremely exciting after so many earnest queer stories. Is there a New “New Queer Cinema” on the way, one that dispenses the rules of the past and isn’t afraid to get weird? If so, we’re ready to fight for it.
Don’t sleep on “Ride,” the new western family drama coming to the Hallmark Channel at the end of the month, because it’s already a hundred times more queer than “Yellowstone” (not difficult, to be honest). Nancy Travis (“Last Man Standing”) plays the matriarch of a ranching dynasty with three sons: a rodeo champion (Marcus Rosner, “Unreal” and several Hallmark movies) married to a former trick rider (Tiera Skovbye, “Riverdale”); a military man serving far from home (Beau Mirchoff, “Good Trouble”); and a gay son with country music aspirations (Jake Foy, also a Hallmark movie vet). The Hallmark Channel has been serving up more and more queer content lately — now that they’ve moved away from their former status as the channel of mediocre entertainment for white, heterosexual audiences — so this might be the time, if you’ve been resisting, to jump on board their updated bandwagon. “Ride” drops March 26.
There will never be enough “Star Wars” ancillary content for “Star Wars” fans. Unless, that is, you’re talking about “The Star Wars Holiday Special,” which has garnered more expressions of love/hate than Jar Jar Binks could dream of. A bizarre pop culture footnote that featured the cast of “Star Wars” as well as Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman, it’s become an object of cult-like obsession for fans. So naturally there’s a new documentary about it called “A Disturbance in The Force,” premiering at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival. Directed by Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak, it’s a collection of reminiscences, archival footage, commentary and affectionate mockery from people who grew up with it, including Seth Green, Kevin Smith and Paul Scheer. It also includes people who were there, notably gay contributing screenwriter Bruce Vilanch and the legendary costume designer Bob Mackie, transferring his Cher-dressing talent to space creatures, both of whom added queer flair to the proceedings. This will all make sense if you’re old enough to remember the ’70s and the sheer amount of queerness that bubbled over in the era’s TV variety specials. And if you’re not, then “Disturbance” will guide you into a wild, weird galaxy indeed. Look for it to stream somewhere near you soon.