Curated by Storyhouse Cinema Assistant and former Young Programmer Isobel Harrop, My Forgotten Favourites is as fresh and intriguing a programme of film as we’ve come across in a while. Designed to subvert and update the common perception of what constitutes a “cult classic”, this lively season of late ‘90s and early ‘00s teen classics goes heavy on female friendships, LGBT+ characters, and wholesome, anti-conservative fun.
With pop-soundtracks, vibrant colour palettes and offbeat, smart-as-a-whip scripts, films such as Jamie Babbit’s gay conversion camp satire But I’m a Cheerleader (Thu 30 June), or Beeban Kidron’s New York drag queen comedy To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (Thu 14 July), are a far cry from the violent, hyper-masculine movies often placed under the “cult” umbrella.
Of course, these are still films with an edge. Darren Stein’s stylised high school flick Jawbreaker (Thu 7 July) is an under-shown dark comedy in which a group of popular girls (led by Rose McGowan) have to cover up the death of the prom queen, following a birthday prank gone wrong. Meanwhile, Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan’s Josie and the Pussycats (Thu 20 July) thoroughly skewers corporate America as it follows a struggling girl group picked up by a mysterious record label.
Beyond the movies themselves, there’s a whole host of supplemental discussions and activities to bring the season beyond the screen. A showing of Allan Moyle’s super cool Empire Records (Sun 24 July) – featuring then hot ‘90s rising stars, Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler – is accompanied by a record fair and a 90s/00s inspired set from DJ Mx World (Charlotte Davies).
A Zine Workshop, Pop Quiz and a recorded Q&A for But I’m a Cheerleader with Eleanor Medhurst, lesbian dress historian and founder of the blog Dressing Dykes, makes sure that My Forgotten Favourites functions outside of the cinema as a social occasion and opportunity mix with like-minded film folk.
This event is part of Film Feels Curious, a UK-wide cinema season, supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.