Showroom’s annual LGBTQ+ History Month season is back this February and they’ve come up with a eclectic, genre-spanning selection of films comprised of modern classics, brand new features and under-the-radar curios.
The season starts with an Andrew Haigh weekender on Friday 2 February. The Yorkshire-born filmmaker is perhaps best known for his tender queer romance Weekend, but his powerful new film All of Us Strangers starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal is surely about to change that. Alongside those films, Showroom have lined up the films he made in between: gorgeous, thorny mystery 45 Years, and underrated coming-of-age western Lean On Pete.
While All of Us Strangers has had audiences reaching for the tissues, Showroom draw attention to the joyous side of queer cinema too. There’s a rare opportunity to see Maria Maggenti’s The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love on the big screen. This underseen 1995 romantic comedy about two young women from different backgrounds screens on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 February, before a Valentine’s special on Wednesday 14.
There are also showings of Kevin Smith’s controversial, polarising Chasing Amy (16 – 18 Feb). The 1997 film starring Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, and Jason Lee is shown with new perspective in the form of an introduction exploring depictions of bisexuality in cinema, and a Northern premiere and preview of documentary Chasing Chasing Amy (Sat 17 Feb), which follows director Sav Rodgers’ personal journey with Smith’s film.
Alongside the picks from the Showroom team…there are a number of collaborations in the schedule
Alongside the picks from the Showroom team — which include a screening of Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Fri 23 Feb), voted by cinema staff as their favourite LGBTQ+ film — there are a number of collaborations in the schedule. Working with Mars Nicoli, a Sheffield Hallam PHD researcher in trans horror, Showroom present Cybergrime (Sat 24 Feb), a programme of short films which we are promised ooze with “homo-depravity”, alongside a virtual Q&A with filmmaker and curator Henry Hanson.
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme is also screening at Showroom this February, and there’s a crossover event as the cinema welcomes the director Tetsuya Chihara to the UK for a Q&A screening of Ice Cream Fever (Tue 6 Feb). While Sheffield DocFest also returns with a DocNights showing of Transition (Mon 26 Feb), a film which follows documentarian Jordan Bryon reporting on the situation in Afghanistan, and the challenges and ethical dilemmas he faces while working as both a trans man and journalist.
Showroom stress that this month-long season can only highlight a small part of queer life on screen. But taken as a whole, the season is a fascinating collection of perspectives, with the programme of genre-spanning work from around the world allowing for brand new discoveries and re-contextualisation of archive cinema.