Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below:
Today Scott Cooper issued an open letter, applauding the Senate’s passage of the $2.2 trillion relief bill as a “much-need positive news to an industry I cherish”, particularly in regards to how it’s primed to help movie theaters during this time when they have fixed costs to maintain over several months, and zero revenue coming in. The gruesome worry on everyone’s minds is how movie theaters will be coming out of this shutdown, both big and small; how severe the attrition of screens will be and the ramifications that will have overall.
Cooper is one of the many filmmakers currently impacted by the immediate nationwide shutdown of movie theaters due to coronavirus safety: his latest movie Antlers from Searchlight Pictures was scheduled to open on April 17, and was unfortunately moved off the schedule along with other Disney and Fox titles like Mulan, Black Widow, The New Mutants, and The Woman in the Window due to the current climate. While Universal has opted to put their big event pic Trolls World Tour into homes over Easter weekend, busting the window, there are many filmmakers out there who continue to believe in the power of the big screen, and Cooper is one of them as you can see from his note. Leading up to the Senate’s debate over the relief bill, many filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Paul Feig and Jon M. Chu have spoken out publically, ecouraging people to lobby Congress to help theaters and their employees survive so they can remain resilient and return.
During times of the Great Depression and America’s recessions, movies prevailed, and provided a cultural boost of spirits. We’ve been immediately robbed of that now as we all try and figure out how we’ll continue to live in a what appears to be a contagious viral environment moving forward.
“Not even during wartime have we been deprived of the strong and collective emotion that comes with a film screening, one of our most cherished common experiences. In this time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, the world mustn't forget the importance of cinema as a balm for what ails us,” exclaims the Crazy Heart filmmaker today.
Here is Cooper’s full letter below that was circulated by the National Association of Theatre Owners.
I don't have to remind anyone who reads this that we are experiencing a singular time in our nation's history when nearly every theater in our country is closed save for a few die-hard Drive-In Theaters. For the first time since D.W. Griﬃth's 17-minute, In Old California, was beamed on a white canvas, in Hollywood, on March 10, 1910, there are no new feature-films to be found playing anywhere.
Not even during wartime have we been deprived...