Movies to be broadcast
1. The King of Staten Island
Saturday Night Live breakout star Pete Davidson gets his first lead role, in a comedy directed by Judd Apatow that he helped co-write. He is clearly inspired by the details of Davidson’s own life: he plays a twenty-year-old whose life has been turned upside down by the death of his fireman father; His mother’s new relationship forces him out of his slump.
Digital platforms, now
2. Da 5 Bloods
Timing is it: Spike Lee’s latest is a welcome addition to the black lives matter cause, a Vietnam War film exploring the experience of African-American soldiers in the conflict, as four veterans return decades later in search of the remains of their squad leader. Delroy Lindo and Jonathan Majors star.
Netflix, out now
3. Joan of Arc
The French national heroine, who saw the English during the Hundred Years War before being captured and burned at the stake in 1431, is a robust perennial of French cinema. It’s Dumont’s second round on the subject, much more direct than his 2017 rock version, even though he has the same teenage star, Lise Leplat Prudhomme.
Curzon Home Cinema, June 19
4. Wasp Network
Olivier Assayas is the French director who gave us the mammoth Carlos, about the famous spy/murderer. Here, he returns to no different territory, with Carlos’s Edgar Ramirez as a Cuban pilot who is accused of infiltrating anti-Castro exiles in Miami, Florida – to the dismay of his wife (Penélope Cruz), who is unaware of the realities of his mission.
Netflix June 19
5. #1 Inmates: The Rise of Danny Trejo
Trejo is the instantly recognizable axe-faced actor best known for a series of badass roles in films such as Desperado and Machete. This doc tells his tumultuous life story, which included several california prison spells before he got into the action (and, later, restaurant-owner).
Digital Platforms, June 22
6. Athlete A
(Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk)
Another in Netflix’s impressive hard-hitting documentary channel follows the presentation (by Indianapolis Star journalists) of the sexual abuse scandal in American gymnastics. It centers on national team doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to hundreds of years in prison on multiple sexual assault charges.
Netflix June 24
7. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Hollywood, it seems, has cottoned on the rich absurdity of Eurovision, and Will Ferrell is the spearhead of this comedy of Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin. Its title refers to Game of Thrones; so it’s no surprise that he’s focusing on Iceland’s entry into the competition, with Ferrell and Rachel McAdams giving their all.
Netflix June 26
American satirist and paragon jon Stewart makes his second foray into filmmaking. Unlike his early days, Rosewater, this is aimed squarely at the right-left political confrontation of the Trump era. Steve Carell is the Democratic political strategist who thinks he can upset the conservative certainties of a small town; Rose Byrne is the Republican rival who takes her.
Digital Platforms, June 26
9. The Old Guard
Charlize Theron leads a strong cast (which includes KiKi Layne of Beale Street and Matthias Schoenaerts of Rust and Bone) in a comic book-based superhero thread: she plays an immortal soldier formerly known as Syria’s Andromache, but now leads a group of mercenaries of a similar vintage who are charged with defending humanity.
Netflix, July 10
10. Boyz in the woods
An unexpected success of Scotland: a horror comedy about a group of teenagers raised in the city who are stuck in the Highlands on a duke of Edinburgh’s prize project – where they are hored by sinister mask poshos. “Trainspotting meets The League of Gentlemen” is the way it is described.
Amazon Prime Video, August 7
11th Phoebe BridgersIn: Punisher
Since the intimate Stranger in the Alps in 2017, Bridgers, 25, a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, has launched two new bands (Boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center) and appeared in the last installment in 1975. Here she pulls the accent back strikingly, expanding on her alt-rock while continuing her talent for turning melancholy into something beautiful.
12th Jessie WareWhat is your pleasure?
While the beige Glasshouse of 2017 was the perfect musical accompaniment to his hit culinary podcast, Table Manners, this sexier and sweatier fourth album finds Ware channeling his inner dancefloor diva. Excellent recent single Ooh La The pop references aberrant Rosion Murphy, while the house-y Mirage (Don’t Stop) could soundtrack any socially distanced barbecue.
13th ArcaIn: KiCk i
Bjork, Rosala and Sophie are invited on this fourth album by pioneering Venezuelan producer Alejandra Ghersi. While his previous efforts sounded as twisted as their disturbing visuals, the most inviting KiCk i (there are apparently three other volumes to come) finds his dabbling in the trap, reggaeton and dreamy electro-pop.
14th HaimIn: Women in Music Pt III
The favorite Californian sisters of all return with their third album. Looser and more experimental than their previous collections, the six singles (!) to emerge to date range from I Know Alone’s garage-barbotant, sunny confectionery (with viral dance routine) to the rock sheen of the Sheryl Crow-esque The Steps.
15th BrandyIn: B7
In the eight years since his latest album, the “Vocal Bible” has rightly been dubbed its influence underscored by Solange, Kehlani and Frank Ocean. After years of being the muse of songwriters and producers, including Timbaland and Rodney Jerkins, the lush, experimental B7 R-B finds its co-writing and co-production on each song.
16. DC Fountains: The death of a hero
Fifteen months after the release of their Mercury-nominated debut, Dogrel, Irish post-punkers return with more expansive follow-up. Quickly recorded with producer Dan Carey (Black Midi, La Roux), A Hero’s Death is apparently inspired by Suicide, Broadcast and, as its title suggests, the Beach Boys.
17th Biffy ClyroA celebration of the ends
The opposite Scottish rockers t-shirts continue their journey of cult concern with a dismal name to X Factor-adjacent chart-toppers on their eighth album, co-produced once again by Muse collaborator Rich Costey. Expect more fleshy rock, more stadium-ready ballads and even more chances to see the male nipples.
After a five-year break following the second album Caracal, British dance producers Guy and Howard Lawrence are back with a handful of bangers ready for summer. Kelis, Fatoumata Diawara and Slowthai are among the singers, while the thrilling title track, which features motivational speaker Eric Thomas, suggests that the title is 100% appropriate.
19th Kelly Lee OwensIn: Inner song
Originally scheduled for May, dance experimenter Lee Owens’ second album is now in time for the sticky, late nights of summer. Touching on the personal -touch banger Night focuses on strength in solitude – and politics through the climate crisis-citing Melt!, it’s a dancefloor-ready album for the head and heart.
20th Lana Del ReyIn: Chemtrails Over the Country Club
This suite to 2019 gorgeous Norman Fucking Rockwell! is already controversial, with its ad nailed to the end of a much-criticized Instagram post that undermined legitimate views on the women’s agency by mainly criticizing black female artists. The album will be joined by two books of poetry, so get ready.
21. Slow burn
Slate’s ever-captivating anthology podcast — whose previous seasons have plunged into the Watergate scandal, bill Clinton’s impeachment and the death of Tupac Shakur — moves into timely territory with a series about white supremacist leader David Duke. Exploring Duke’s maneuvers in politics and his integration of far-right ideology, journalist Josh Levin examines the links between organizations, including the Ku Klux Klan, and the powers that are in the United States.
22. The Special Relationship
This mockumentary pod of duo Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden, AKA The Pin, is sure to be an anarchic listen, as we follow two desperate British comics trying to do so in the US. Exploring “the hilarious unhealthy co-dependency of the delusional pair,” he also features a cast of comic talent from both sides of the Atlantic, including Lolly Adefope, Jamie Demetriou, Kate Berlant and Saturday Night Live Cecily Strong.
Audible, expected in July
23th Rise of the Iron Men
Journalist and author McMafia Misha Glenny follows his audio series Putin: Prisoner of Power with another podcast, this time mapping the rise of other “Iron Man” political leaders, who espouse the cause of free speech while keeping the firmest grips on their respective nations. From Erdogan in Turkey to the Modi Indians and Bolsonaro in Brazil, Glenny aims to create a “thriller-esque narrative” around each of these formidable populist leaders with nationalist goals.
Audible, expected in August
24. Sex, lies and DM slides
Cook-turned-media personality Gizzi Erskine is teaming up with multi-hyphenate model, DJ and writer Sydney Lima for a new podcast covering online dating to sex parasites, dick pics to porn, which is sure to appeal to fans of The Receipts, The Hotbed and perhaps even the more serious New York Times Modern Love. With guests ranging from celebrities to sex workers, dominatrixes to comedians, expect a show that is as frank and insightful as it is accessible.
Spotify, summer TBC
25. Hear to Kill
Cultural writer and commentator Roxane Gay – known for her frank dissection of race, body image and feminism – and writer and sociology professor Tressie McMillan Cottom are set to return with another series from the “black feminist podcast of your dreams.” Taking an intelligent and intersectional look at everything from sexual abuse in Hollywood to black women in rap, it’s a totally brilliant show that always sparkles with black girl magic.
Luminaire, Summer TBC
26. The Great
Tony McNamara, co-writer of The Favourite, brings some of the same nincompoopey courtly to a bio freestyle by Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning), who becomes Empress of Russia when she marries bonehead sovereign Peter (Nicholas Hoult). Presenting a battle against grotesque misogyny as an intelligent but absurd comedy is a gamble that pays off.
Starzplay, June 18
The fourth season of HBO’s emotionally intelligent comedy-drama finds Issa (Issa Rae) still stumble into adulthood, as she and her best companion Molly (Yvonne Orji) again threaten to split up, and Issa’s ex continues to live in her head. In its subtle and introspective way, it is always the most pointed document of television of the black/millennial/LA experience.
Sky Comedy/Now TV, June 23
28. Celebrity Snoop Dogs
Celebrity property shows reaching a new low – just above floor level, in fact – in a series that straps GoPro cameras for the best friends of the stars. As the nose mutts around, we guess who owns them and the house, in a format that raises the happy possibility of Keith Lemon one day being replaced on Through the Keyhole by a labrador.
Channel 4, June 26
The German sci-fi twister out of the chain roars back, after a two-shock season ending that added parallel worlds to Dark’s already confusing time loops. Can the forces of evil, or this great wobbly sphere, be defeated? This is the last season for the story to end, or begin, or implod in a vacuum of erasure of humanity, here.
Netflix, June 27
30. Death again
Focused on crime drama, Acorn TV is a new niche streaming player, rich in property rights (Foyle’s War, all Agatha Christie) and original shows. This black droll comedy stars Michael Smiley as a 19th century Irish photographer who specializes in snapping the deceased, but ends up investigating a serial killer.
Acorn TV, June 29
Eleanor Catton dismantles her own 2013 book-winning novel through six episodes, starring Eve Hewson (The Knick) as the adventurous young Brit trying to make a new life in New Zealand in the 1860s. Its visual opulence, its thwarted romance and its layers of overhanging mystery should make a stifling and escapy success.
BBC One, June/July Tbc
Season two of a thriller that successfully spun the 2011 film – about a teenage girl raised to be an elite killer spy – in the episodic format, while maintaining a sparse efficiency of storytelling as well as a careful balance of tension and action. Esme Creed-Miles is as strong as the enigmatic, almost superhero-like main character, originally played in the film by Saoirse Ronan.
Amazon Prime Video, July 3
33. Little Voice
Not a remake of the 1998 Jane Horrocks Britflick, although the theme of pulling hope from the music is similar. Writer-director Jessie Nelson and songwriter Sara Bareilles – the team behind the musical Waitress – team up with JJ Abrams for this love letter to the New York music scene, starring Brittany O’Grady as one of the many young hopefuls who hope to sing their way out of the darkness and find themselves while they’re there.
Apple TV, July 10
34. Muppets Now
Having lived outside the Mandalorian for perhaps too long, Disney is announcing a new wave of original content by dusting off Kermit and co. As has become the norm with modern Muppets, it is well meta: the “unsnared” show focuses on Scooter’s efforts to deliver the new TELEVISION show Muppets so it can be broadcast.
Disney, July 31
35. Mrs. America
This nuanced and resonant biographical miniseries has a gilded supporting cast – Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, John Slattery, Melanie Lynskey, Sarah Paulson, Tracey Ullman – supporting Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of 1970s American conservative Phyllis Schlafly, whose successful efforts to prevent sexual discrimination legislation have defined what second-wave feminism was against.
BBC Two, July
Looking for the next Fortnite? Maybe that’s it. Valorant is attracting huge interest from esports and streaming stars and their millions of young fans. It relies on characters with different abilities like Overwatch and precise sharp shots like Counter-Strike, but fortunately it’s always fun, even if you’re not the most accurate shot, especially with friends on your team.
37. The Sims: Eco Lifestyle
Love Sims, but find that its ultra-capitalism grids on your left-handed sensibility? To appease the eco-conscious audience of today’s Gen Z, Maxis gives its long-lived life simulation game, ridiculously convincing a green update. Your little computer scientists will soon be able to live virtual, zero-waste, upcycling, solar-powered and vegan lives, turning a filthy, dilapidated port city into a futuristic ecological oasis.
PC, PS4, XBox One, output Right now
38. The Last Of Us Part II
A tense and terrifying post-apocalyptic drama about a deadly contagion might look like the last thing you want to playr right now, but The Last of Us Part II is an undisputed event in the gaming world. A horror-tinged action game about a 19-year-old gay man and the people around it, it explores heavy things about relationships, revenge and what humans are capable of doing for and to each other in extreme circumstances.
Ps4 June 19
39. Ghost of Tsushima
A tribute to the action films of the samurai of the 50s and 60s, it takes us to 13th century Japan – in the grassy fields, feudal villages and shiny blades that crash under falling cherry blossoms. The story plays with themes of honor and responsibility, and is a real showcase for the technical and artistic talents of developer Sucker Punch.
Ps4 July 17
40. Mario Paper: The Origami King
If some of the other games sound a little dark, how about healthy, beautiful Super Mario? Here, everything is made of paper, including Mario and his various cutesy enemies. Slapstick humor, applause-worthy puns and a touch of endearing strangeness always make these games worth playing, and you don’t need to be too familiar with Nintendo to enjoy the jokes and fantasy.
Nintendo Switch, July 17
41. BBC Culture in Quarantine
The BBC is launching 25 new works on the theme of locking, embracing the visual, sound and performance arts. The premieres include an exploration of African and Caribbean dance, a Swan Lake bath ballet experience and lots of beat-boxing, puppetry and theatre for theatre lovers. Mg
42. Future Threads
This programme of lectures, music and multimedia projects will explore how artists from the Arab world are responding to the crisis. Connect via Zoom for a conversation with the Tehran collective New Media Society about the challenges facing the Iranian art scene, or return to the live music of Syrian sound artist Hello Psychaleppo. Ss
mosaicrooms.org, June to September
43. I Should Do Something Else Right Now
This online program has thematic components, such as sleep mode, offering a respite from commuted life, with performance art and a riff on the Guardian’s Country Diary column. In addition, for the Coping Mechanisms podcast, artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard talk to friends including Carol Morley. Ss
June somersethouse.org and July
44. Live from Covent Garden
The Royal Opera House opens its doors for its first live concerts since March – but only for socially distanced artists; the rest of us can look online. The first concert is free and it is an opera and dance gala, including a world premiere by Wayne McGregor. Lw
Youtube June 13, 7:30 p.m.
45th Bbc Proms
So far, the Proms have given more than one statement of intent than a comprehensive program. We know they start with a “ouvea” work: Iain Farrington Beethoven mash-up featuring all the BBC orchestras, with archival concerts on the following evenings. For the last fortnight, there are hopes for live concerts, played in an empty Albert Hall. Ac
Radio 3 and online, July 17 to September 12
46. Always be comedy
“The best comedy night in the world,” according to Katherine Ryan, ABC has been a thriving online presence in lockdown, combining big names and new talent. Future shows will include artists such as Mark Steel, Isy Suttie and Ahir Shah, as well as mystery guests. Kb
alwaysbecomedy.com, June and July
47. Up My Street: Online!
This festival embodies the community spirit that we have all staged, featuring dancers, teenagers and retirees, and choreographers like Temujin Gill. Four episodes feature dance pieces created using Zoom, WhatsApp and game techniques. Lw
facebook.com/greenwichdance, every week from June 25
48. Live at the Village Vanguard
New York’s Village Vanguard, the world’s oldest jazz club, begins live sat and sun concerts today – opening with the quartet of former Herbie Hancock drummer Billy Hart and world jazz pianist Vijay Iyer later this month. Jf
villagevanguard.com, De June 13
49. Old Vic: In camera
The Old Vic features socially distanced performances and readings of plays broadcast live from the theatre. The season begins with Claire Foy and Matt Smith reliving Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs. Tickets will be available to a limited audience of 1,000 people. Mg
oldvictheatre.com, June 26 to July 4
The hip-hop musical success has finally made it online. Shot on three Broadway performances in 2016, it features the original stellar cast, including Lin-Manuel Miranda as founding father Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom Jr as Aaron Burr. Mg
Disney July 3rd
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