“Don’t read your reviews‘; weigh them,” Andy Warhol is reputed to have said. AnotherOne way to judge a film or TV show is by how many remakes it prompts: Russell T Davies’s Channel 4 series Queer as Folk is gaining fast on A Star is Born. The 1999 drama about gay men in Manchester became a US version set in Pittsburgh; now another round (StarzPlay, 1 July) centres on New Orleans’ diverse queer community. Devin Way, Jesse James Keitel, CG and Fin Argus are among the cast.
Also in a recurring role is Kim Cattrall, clearly not opposed to all TV reboots. Long before Sex and the City, Cattrall was in Mannequin, an 80s romcom about a window dresser at a New York store who falls in love with a mannequin that comes to life after closing time. It was accompanied by Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, written by Diane Warren and Albert Hammond.
Is this it?
His son, Albert Hammond Jr, is the Strokes’ guitarist. Their story, and that of the 2000s rock revival, is retold in Meet Me in the Bathroom, a book and documentary. In it, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem has a life-changing conversion to dance music and having fun, aided by ecstasy and Northern Irish producer/DJ David Holmes.
Spies like us
Central to Holmes’s oeuvre has been his jazzy, funk-infused scores for Steven Soderbergh films. Elsewhere, he collaborated with Keefus Cianca on the score for the 2015 BBC series London Spy, featuring Ben Whishaw and Edward Holcroft in a love story twisted into an espionage thriller.
Sin when you’re winning
Whishaw appeared alongside Hugh Grant in the BBC’s A Very English Scandal, written by Russell T Davies, whose handprints have been across British TV for two decades. Years on from Queer as Folk, he returned to Manchester (and C4) with Cucumber, while last year’s Aids crisis drama It’s a Sin was an international hit.
Dance The original series had Cruz 101 in Manchester’s Gay Village standing in for Babylon. It’s still going strong.
Read Jeremy Atherton Lin’s Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, published last year, was described by Colm Tóibín as “a brilliantly written and incisive account of gay life in Los Angeles, San Francisco and London”.