New queer films to watch this summer

"Passages," which follows a self-involved filmmaker leaving his marriage, is out on August 4.
“Passages,” which follows a self-involved filmmaker leaving his marriage, is out on August 4.

It’s sum-sum-summertime, and while the weather is nice and warm, there is always the cool relief of sitting in a dark, air-conditioned theater to take in a queer film. Here is a rundown of releases by and featuring queer talent coming in theaters this summer. (All dates subject to change).

June 2: “Unidentified Objects”

Peter (Matthew Jeffers) is a gay dwarf in New York City who reluctantly accompanies his sex-worker neighbor Winona (Sarah Hay) on a road trip to Canada in search of aliens. A series of queer — as in odd, as in involving LGBTQ characters — episodes ensue. 

June 9: “Blue Jean”

Set in 1980s Britain, when the antigay Clause 28 was in effect, “Blue Jean” revolves around a closeted gym teacher (Rosy McEwen in a fantastic performance) whose livelihood — along with her relationship with her girlfriend Viv (Kerrie Hayes) — is jeopardized when she encounters one of her students (Lucy Halliday) in a lesbian bar. 

June 30: “Every Body”

This documentary profiles three intersex people (River Gallo, Alicia Roth Weigel, and Sean Saifa Wall) chronicling their experiences and decisions given how society sees them — and how they see themselves. Along with creating visibility, and opening a discussion about the binary, they also are looking to stop harmful intersex surgeries.

July 5: WHAM!”

This documentary by Chris Smith recounts the ’80s musicians’ success and features rare archival footage and interviews. The film traces George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s teenage aspiration to be pop stars to the making and meaning of their hits and landmark concerts, including ones at Wembley Stadium and in China. 

July 5: Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate”

This glossy documentary examines the titular establishment, which was said to be, “The most spectacular nightclub.” With its prominent sign reading, “Here it is right,” queer men and women would congregate nightly in late 1920s Berlin to perform and “be free” as the Nazis were coming to power. 

July 7: “Joy Ride”

“Joy Ride” is a raucous comedy of identity that promises hijinks and hilarity as four friends, including out actress Sabrina Wu, embark on “a grand adventure.” When the adopted Audrey (Ashley Park) goes to China to seek out her birth mother, she brings along her bestie, Lolo (Sherry Cola), her college roommate (Stephanie Hsu), and her cousin, Deadeye (Wu). Of course, things do not quite go easily or as planned.

July 14: “Theater Camp”

A hit at Sundance, “Theater Camp” is a playful mockumentary about the fictional “AdirondACTS” theater summer camp for kids. The film may try too hard sending up theater types, but the fun final show compensates for the hit-or-miss humor. The film features several queer actors (Ben Platt, Patti Harrison) and characters along with one avowed heterosexual. 

July 14: Afire”

Christian Petzold’s latest unfolds set mainly at a house near the Baltic Sea as wildfires rage nearby. Leon (Thomas Schubert), a writer, experiences various personal and professional setbacks, and is troubled by his unexpected housemate Nadja (Paul Beer). The intense dynamic shifts when two guys get involved in a relationship.

July 21: Barbie

Margot Robbie plays the title role in the candy-colored “Barbie” with Ryan Gosling as her Ken. Director Greta Gerwig’s film features queer support from out actresses Alexandra Shipp and Kate McKinnon, as well as trans actress Hari Nef. 

July 28: “Kokomo City”

Shot in luminous black and white, the fabulous, compassionate documentary “Kokomo City,” directed by trans filmmaker D. Smith (her debut) showcases four Black trans women spilling the tea about their experiences and observations about sex work, race, gender, masculinity, and much more. Alas, Koko Da Doll, one of the film’s subjects, was tragically killed this year, making this documentary all the more poignant for shedding a light on these lives.

August 4: “Passages”

This shrewd and exacting study of amour fou by out gay director/cowriter Ira Sachs has Tomas (Franz Rogowski from “Great Freedom”), a self-involved filmmaker, leaving his marriage to Martin (out gay Ben Whishaw) after sleeping with Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos from “Blue Is the Warmest Color”). 

August 4: “Shortcomings”

Director Randal Park’s charming romantic dramady has Ben (Justin H. Min) struggling in his relationship with Miko (Ally Maki) and getting advice from his lesbian best friend Alice (Sherry Cola) — though he doesn’t always listen to her. 

August 11: “Red White and Royal Blue”

The breakout romance novel by queer writer Casey McQuiston gets adapted for the big screen. After an “international incident,” Alex Claremont (Taylor Zakhar Perez), America’s biracial First Son, has to make nice with the Prince Henry of England (Nicholas Galitzine). The guy’s mutual hatred soon turns to love. 

August 18: “Mutt”

Trans writer/director Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s sensitive, moody drama, “Mutt,” depicts an emotional 24 hours in the life of Feña (Lîo Mehiel), a Latinx trans man in New York City reconnecting with his ex, John (Cole Doman), his estranged sister, Zoe (MiMi Ryder) and his father, Pablo (Alejandro Goic).

August 25: Bad Things

Queer director Stewart Thorndike (“Lyle”)’s latest film “Bad Things” features a group of friends (and some in lesbian relationships) who encounter ghosts and experience psychological terror during a weekend getaway at a mountain resort. Trans actress Hari Nef costars.

August 25: Bottoms

In a bid to lose their virginity — to cheerleaders no less — queer teens PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) start a violent fight club, which becomes an unexpected, underground success. This raunchy comedy is directed by bisexual filmmaker Emma Seligman, who cowrote it with Sennott, who starred in their previous feature, “Shiva Baby.”