HBO Max and Discovery+ are merging into a single platform; Lady Gaga joins the Joker sequel; a chat with the trans skater star of Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story; the trailer is out for Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
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Nòt Film Fest: Check out the 2022 lineup for this cool Italian film festival that focuses on the indie-est of indie movies. Nòt Film Fest is all about making cinema indie again. Oh, and it takes place in the beautiful town of Santarcangelo di Romagna near the Adriatic coast. It’s all going down from Aug. 23-28.
New York Asian Film Festival: The event, one of our 25 Coolest Film Festivals, just wrapped its latest edition, which smashed past attendance records. Two Audience Awards were handed out: one to Cho Eun-ji’s South Korean dramedy Perhaps Love, about a washed-up novelist reinvigorated by a collaboration with a gay student; and another to Coba Cheng’s Hong Kong comedy Chilli Laugh Story, about a bickering family who start selling their insanely tasty chili sauce. Here are more details about the festival and all the winners.
Your New Favorite Netflix Doc: Is coming out on Aug. 11, and it’s called Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story. I got to attend a screening of it at Outfest, and it was both heartbreaking, joyful, and hopeful. It’s everything you want a documentary about an athlete to be. This particular athlete is a pro skateboarder, and he’s been through a lot in the last few years — namely transitioning into his identity as a trans man, which is not easy in a sport that often defines skaters by their gender. Watch the trailer for The Leo Baker story below, and you can read my interview with Leo Baker and co-director Nicola Marsh here.
Speaking of Trans Role Models: I’ve got another one for you. Her name is Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe, and Ray Whitehouse made a documentary about her historic campaign to run for San Antonio City Council called A Run For More. It takes a hard look at the way trans people are treated in Texas, where a worrying amount of anti-trans legislation has been introduced in the last few years. Not only does Gonzales-Wolfe have to campaign against her opponents, but she also constantly has to answer questions about her gender identity and how it might affect her political decisions. You can read my interview with Gonzales-Wolfe and Whitehouse here.
HBO Max Update: As anticipated, yesterday’s Warner Bros. Discovery earnings call shed some light on what’s going on with all the shelvings, including of Batgirl, that have left viewers fearing for the future of HBO Max. CEO David Zaslav announced during the call that, indeed, HBO Max will soon cease to exist as we know it, but will continue its life under a new name. HBO Max and Discovery+ are going to merge into a new platform, and it’ll start its U.S. rollout in the summer of 2023. No word yet on what it will be called. USA Today has more details.
Lady Gaga Joins Joker: Folie à Deux: The pop star and actress confirmed that she will appear in Joker: Folie à Deux yesterday with a cheeky little teaser video posted to her Instagram featuring Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek.” It shows silhouettes of Joker and Gaga dancing, and it makes me really excited for this movie. The only sad part is that we’ll have to wait TWO MORE YEARS until it comes out on Oct. 4, 2024. Watch the little musical teaser below:
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What Does Folie à Deux Mean? It refers to a delusion or mental illness shared by two people in close association with one another, which suggests that perhaps Gaga plays Harley Quinn, the character played by Margot Robbie in the Suicide Squad films and Birds of Prey. In Batman and Joker lore, Dr. Harleen Quinzel is a psychologist for the Joker at Arkham Asylum who ends up buying into his madness and falling under his spell.
More Slash: In another excerpt from our recent interview with the rock icon, he explains why there will never be a Guns N Roses movie. Is it because rock movies always end up being “super, super corny and unrealistic”? Yes, that’s part of it.
The Banshees of Inisherin: Searchlight released the trailer for Martin McDonagh’s new movie The Banshees of Inisherin yesterday, and wow, just wow. To be honest, I love Ireland so much that I would watch it just for the scenery — just look at the ocean crashing against the cliffs! — but put a bickering Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in front of that backdrop, and *slams credit card on table* just take my money. And to bring it all together, the film also features Barry Keoghan, who briefly plays The Joker in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Watch the trailer here:
Main Image: A still from The Banshees of Inisherin. Photo credit: Searchlight Pictures