Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

REELING FILM FESTIVAL Lesbian director highlights queer history in 'The Archivettes'
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2019-09-18

This article shared 3202 times since Wed Sep 18, 2019
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Megan Rossman is an out and proud lesbian filmmaker. But while making The Archivettes, whose Chicago premiere is part of the Reeling Film Festival, she had a lot to learn.

"I had never thought of my history as a lesbian and how I fit into the larger LGBTQ+ community," said Rossman, a tenure-track professor and communications department chair at the State University of New York's Purchase College. "When I walked into [the Lesbian History Archives], it was really powerful to realize there were people like me that were here before and were able to successfully exist. I think everyone should know their history, and it doesn't have to mean your genealogy."

The Archivettes is a documentary about the Lesbian Herstory Archives, now located in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Co-founders Deborah Edel and Joan Nestle established the all-volunteer museum after realizing "our history was disappearing as quickly as we were making it." Over the past four decades, Edel and Nestle have sought and preserved artifacts that chronicle both pivotal and everyday moments in queer history. "Some of the most engaging materials are women's personal diaries," Rossman said. "You can learn what it was like to be a lesbian in 1947."

After making three short films about the Archives, Rossman decided a longer feature was the next step.

"One thing everyone at the Archives told me is that we have to know our history so we don't repeat it," she said. Time was also of the essence. "The original founders are in their final chapter of involvement, and I wanted to document their stories," Rossman said. "There's a woman in the film [who] had a stroke a couple months after I interviewed her, and her memory is not at the point that it was when we did the interview."

Everyone involved in making The Archivettes identified as female or nonbinary. According to Rossman, this was a deliberate choice. "As women and LGBTQ+ people, we are underemployed in the film industry," she said. "When I set out to make this film about queer women, I wanted to make sure I could include folks that…would treat the content with care and tenderness." Because of the project's limited budget, the crew made necessary sacrifices. "People would work at reduced rates, and they were willing to do it because of the nature of the project."

Rossman learned a few surprising facts in the process. "When [the Archives] first started, everyone was always concerned there would be an attack [or] someone would come in and destroy the materials," Rossman said. "In the beginning they had a lot of strategies. There was a caretaker in Joan's apartment building, and when they bought a larger building, they continued the tradition, and always had more than one person staffing."

Perhaps even more surprising was the Archives' "secret" location. "At first they didn't even publish the address. You would have to call and talk to someone," Rossman said. "I don't know exactly when that stopped, but it was their M.O. [modus operandi] for quite a while, including the early '90s."

When asked about the film's takeaways, Rossman emphasized personal documentation.

"When we're here and we're well, that's when we have the power to document our lives and think about what kind of legacy we want to leave," she said. "I think it's important for [queer people] to take control of that, whether we're 17 or 77."

Rossman recommended keeping a paper journal. "Have your stories written down," she said. "I would [also] encourage people to print their pictures and make sure they're keeping a physical record as well as a digital record, so they have that narrative to go from."

Although Rossman now lives in New York, the Cleveland native spent a summer interning at the Chicago Tribune and still has family and friends here. She's excited to share The Archivettes with a Windy City audience. "In some ways, the Chicago premiere feels like coming home."

The Archivettes will screen Sunday, Sept. 22, at 3:15 p.m. at Landmark's Centure Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St. Director Megan Rossman will attend. For more about the 2019 Reeling Film Festival, which runs Sept. 19-29, visit ReelingRlmFestival.org .


This article shared 3202 times since Wed Sep 18, 2019
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Jussie Smollett back to work; BET+ plans to show his directorial debut 2022-05-27
- Embattled former Empire actor Jussie Smollett is back to work after being convicted of faking a hate crime in Chicago earlier this year, ABC 7 Chicago reported. Smollett, 39, makes his directorial debut in the movie ...


Gay News

Kevin Spacey charged with sexual assault in the UK 2022-05-26
- In the United Kingdom, embattled actor Kevin Spacey has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of "causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent," Variety reported. The decision ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'George Michael: Freedom Uncut' to be released June 22 2022-05-24
- Sony Music Entertainment and Trafalgar Releasing will release the movie George Michael: Freedom Uncut as a global event on Wed., June 22—and it's fitting that the documentary about the late gay singer will air during Pride ...


Gay News

Actor/model David Pevsner challenges age and body stereotypes in recent book 2022-05-24
- When writing his recent book—Damn Shame: Desire, Defiance and Show Tunes—actor/model/filmmaker David Pevsner noticed three themes coming to the fore: body shame, sexuality and ageism. "All three of those are ...


Gay News

Siskel to show 'Judy Garland Summer Centennial Retrospective' 2022-05-23
- This June and July, the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., will celebrate Judy Garland to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth (June 10, 1922). The Judy Garland Summer Centennial Retrospective will involve ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Chocolate festival, lesbian sci-fi film, 'Smahtguy' 2022-05-16
- —The Long Grove Chocolate Festival: The beloved Chocolate Festival will return to the historic streets and parkways of downtown Long Grove for the first time in three years, May 20-22. Chocolate lovers can experience so much—including ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer playwright, LGBTQ+ films, BMI Pop Awards, new superhero 2022-05-15
- Jeremy O. Harris, the queer Tony-nominated author of Slave Play, has been named the presiding playwright for the 2023 Yale Drama Series Prize—one of the theater world's most prestigious playwriting honors, Deadline noted. Harris joins the ...


Gay News

TV Writer Joel Kim Booster, director Andrew Ahn take a trip to 'Fire Island' 2022-05-15
- Based on the classic Jane Austen book Pride and Prejudice, the new Fox Searchlight film Fire Island has an important story to tell LGBTQ+ audiences specifically. In that story, there are plenty of laughs along the ...


Gay News

Peacock to debut horror film 'They/Them' on Aug. 5 2022-05-12
- Peacock announced that its new original film They/Them (pronounced "They-slash-Them), from Blumhouse will premiere Friday, Aug. 5. The LGBTQIA+ horror film, formerly known as Whistler Camp, is a queer empowerment story ...


Gay News

FILM 'The Adventures of Priscilla' to show nationwide on June 2 2022-05-11
- Iconic Events Releasing will kick off Pride Month with a special nationwide rerelease of MGM's classic 1994 Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Screenings will take place in select theaters nationwide on ...


Gay News

COMEDY Netflix holds 'Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration' 2022-05-09
- On May 7, Billy Eichner hosted Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival's "Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration" at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The historic celebration featured LGBTQ+ comedy legends and emerging talent. Highlights included ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Hacks,' 'Love, Victor,' Indy 500, Ariana DeBose, queer singers 2022-05-08
- Queer, non-binary actor Carl Clemons-Hopkins (they/them and he/him) told Out Magazine he is elated with the warm reception received by the show Hacks and his character. "When I started in this years and years ago, there ...


Gay News

Members of the Jane Collective abortion underground to reunite for 'The Janes' screening May 19 2022-05-05
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — In the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion set to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Doc10 today announced that original Jane Collective members will reunite for the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Broadway Rising,' Webby Awards, 'Kinky Boots,' Tom Ford 2022-05-01
- The upcoming documentary Broadway Rising will have its world premiere on June 13 at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, Playbill noted. The documentary follows theater subjects—ranging from stage doorman to actors—on their journeys back to the ...


Gay News

DeGeneres shares message after taping final talk-show episode 2022-04-30
- An era has ended as The Ellen Show has officially wrapped its last episode. According to Variety, Ellen DeGeneres announced on an April 29 Twitter thread that her daytime talk show concluded filming its final episode. ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.