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  • Writer's pictureClaudio Fibonacci

Sapph-O-Rama: The Ultimate Lesbian Film Festival for Sapphic Cinema Buffs

Sapph-O-Rama: The Lesbian Film Festival Sapphic Cinema Buffs Deserve

Sapph-O-Rama: A Homage to Lesbian Cinema Through the Ages

With a resurgence in onscreen lesbian narratives, thanks to seminal works like The L Word, Euphoria, and Sex Education, the Film Forum’s latest festival, Sapph-O-Rama, arrives not a moment too soon. This 30-film series promises an eclectic journey through the lesbian image in cinema, spanning various genres and decades, to offer a comprehensive look at sapphic representation on the big screen.

The Genesis of Sapph-O-Rama

Co-curators Andrea Torres and Emily Greenberg stumbled upon the idea for Sapph-O-Rama while delving into Film Forum’s extensive archives. Inspired by a series from the year 2000 with the same name, they saw the opportunity for revival and expansion, incorporating a wider array of films that reflect the lesbian experience from the silent era to the present day.

The Curatorial Process: Beyond the Obvious

The duo aimed to extend beyond the immediate picks to spotlight films that showcase the evolution and resilience of lesbian representation. From pre-Code comedies to groundbreaking modern narratives, the festival traverses nearly every genre, including art films, blockbusters, and even lesbian pirate-ship fantasies.

Decades of Sapphic Representation

  1. The Early Years: A game of sapphic hide-and-seek with films like Salomé and The Wild Party.

  2. The Revolutionary ’80s and ’90s: The era of lesbian movies finding mainstream release, with films such as But I’m a Cheerleader and The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love.

  3. The 21st Century: A period marked by a rich diversity of lesbian narratives, from indie gems to major cinematic contributions.

Must-Watch Highlights of Sapph-O-Rama

Among the festival’s offerings, the curators are particularly excited about screening lesser-known yet impactful films like The Killing of Sister George, with its iconic lesbian bar scene, and Fucking Åmål, a quintessential ’90s teen movie that explores young love.

The Present and Future of Queer Cinema in NYC

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the state of queer cinema in New York City remains vibrant and promising. With an enthusiastic audience and a wave of queer filmmakers telling their own stories, the future looks bright for sapphic cinema and beyond.

Dream Guests for Sapph-O-Rama

When asked about their dream guests for the festival, Torres and Greenberg cited influential figures like Chantal Akerman and Audre Lorde, alongside contemporary icons like Kristen Stewart, underscoring the festival’s blend of historical reverence and modern relevance.

In essence, Sapph-O-Rama is more than just a film festival; it’s a celebration of lesbian cinema’s past, present, and future. It’s an opportunity for cinema buffs to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of sapphic storytelling and to witness the evolution of lesbian representation onscreen.

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