Robert Mapplethorpe, the dish from Margaret Cho & Wanda Sykes and the new jam from Mila Jam

Mapplethorpe: The Director’s Cup

Whatever your entertainment needs, we’ve got you (and hopefully your mind) here for you with Queerty’s weekly ‘Culture Club’ column featuring some of the highlights of new releases, streaming shows, classics worth revisiting and what to drink while you watch.

The Extended: Mapplethorpe – Director’s Cup

This new take on the 2017 festival hit hits streaming services this week and, in the same vein as Justice League by Zack Snyder, proves once again that producers should let a director tell a story rather than a committee. Mapplethorpe: The Director’s Cup elevates the material of a mediocre biopic to a compelling and empowering take on a man driven to near insanity by his own contradictions… not to mention everyone around him. This new cut from the film delves further into Mapplethorpe’s troubled Catholic upbringing and how his attraction to the subtle sexuality of Catholic imagery sparked his interest in BDSM. The film also deepens her relationship with musician Patti Smith, as perhaps the alone Mapplethorpe could let his guard down. Matt Smith makes the title role as brilliant as it is infuriating: his Robert Mapplethorpe seems to inject BDSM into every aspect of his life, consciously or not. He is not a friendly person, but still fascinating. With a much clearer and more nuanced story, Mapplethorpe: The Director’s Cup There’s also no shortage of frontal male nudity and intense gay sex scenes. Paraphrase Boogie Nights, come on for the sexy stuff, stay for the story.

On-demand broadcasts April 2.

The scandalous: Shiva Baby

Talking about quirky: this comedy about a pious Jewish woman in crisis of sexual orientation, family and a Sugar Daddy crosses all kinds of genres. In other words, we’ve never seen a story like this. The film follows Danielle (Rachel Sennott), a bisexual Jewish woman at a funeral. There, she meets her parents, adorable Sugar Daddy, and high school girlfriend, who are all vying for her attention. The confluence of personalities causes Danielle to question her life choices and, ultimately, her sanity. Call it one last day Dreamer: a meditation on age, sex and love, with a deliciously bizarre touch. In addition to a winning performance by Sennott, the film also features a supporting turn from the ever-reliable Ryan Murphy, loyal Jackie Hoffman (Feud, the politician), which – this shouldn’t come as a surprise – gives another hilarious performance.

In theaters and on request on April 2.

The aptly named: hysterical

Speaking of hilarity, this new documentary examines the lives and careers of women in stand-up comedy and the unbelievable sexism they face in the workplace. This includes a number of LGBTQ artists, including Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, Jessica Kirson, Judy Gold, and Fortune Feimster, all of whom share stories about heart-wrenching encounters (including sexual assault) in comedy clubs and the road. Fortunately, the comedy of these women – along with archival footage of trailblazers Moms Mabley, Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers, as well as Kathy Griffin, Sherri Shepherd, and Lisa Lampanelli – keep the procedure from getting too harsh. If we have one criticism, it’s that we wish the film had focused more on how being a queer woman affects perception within the company. That said, this trip into the dark underbelly of the comedy world is always interesting and, very often, downright hysterical.

Streams on FX and Hulu April 2.

ICYMI: Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar

And speaking of hysterics (again), our favorite comedy of the year hits even more streaming services this week. To recap: The film follows two middle-aged Midwestern besties (Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo; the couple also wrote the screenplay) on a spontaneous vacation in South Florida where they meet a hunky secret agent, a secret agent. goofy and a dastardly supervillain determined to destroy Vista Del Mar with Killer Bees. If it sounds everywhere, it is. It is also extremely funny in the same vein as Austin Powers, Romey and Michelle High School Reunion and Gorgeous Drop Dead, and just the kind of laughs we needed after a year of COVID. And since the COVD lockdown isn’t quite over yet, we could use another laugh.

Now streaming on digital on demand. DVDs and Blu-Ray arrive April 6.

The Jam: “Pretty One” by Mila Jam

Transgender artist Mila Jam (known here for her collaboration with Angelica Ross earlier this year) is releasing her latest single, a tribute to transgender people in honor of The Transgender Day of Visibility. Channeling 80s synth dance floors with a hint of Enrique Iglesias, the song presents Jam at its most cheeky and charismatic, twisting with some very beautiful dancers. It’s a sensual and energetic indie dance tune meant to make uninitiated listeners gasp, “Dude, who’s singing that?”

Streaming on YouTube.

The Spin: “Queen of the North” by Brooke Lynn Hytes

Canadian dragster star Brooke Lynn Hytes fresh off as judge Drag Race Canada, is releasing his single and short film this week. Shiny, glittery and gothic, Hytes channels Marie Antonette and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Hunter for a high-fantasy design to a song full of energy. As much a musical business card as a dance floor ready to slide, Drag race fans should have a good time listening to the beat.

Stream on YouTube.

The Sip: The Brooke Lynn Hytes Ol’Fashion-D

via Flickr

For our sip this week, we suggest this sweet and potent cocktail named after Ms. Hytes herself and created in one of her favorite haunts, The Drink in Toronto. With notes of maple and spice, it doesn’t lack Canadian charm or load, just like the lady herself.

  • 2 parts of vodka
  • 1 part maple syrup
  • bitterness

Mix and stir over ice. Use immediately.

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