Birmingham’s festival of queer arts has always had a strong cinematic element, and this year’s collection of wonderfully eclectic events is no different. Taking place between 5-17 November in and around the city centre, one of the big coups this year is an appearance from cinema’s infamous ‘Pope of Trash’ John Waters, whose boundary smashing work within queer film spans four gloriously filthy decades.
SHOUT Opening Party
Birmingham’s long-lasting gay club The Nightingale plays a key part in this year’s SHOUT, and the 2019 festival marks the beginning a massive project designed to culminate in a feature length documentary about the history of Birmingham’s Gay Village and, more precisely, what has become an iconic venue for many LGBTQ+ people in the Midlands over the past half century. So what better venue to host the launch of SHOUT 2019, the raucous opening party (3 Nov) offering you cabaret acts, the unveiling of two new artistic murals celebrating 50 years of The Nightingale and a screening of queer cult favourite Hedwig & The Angry Inch, a film about a transgender rock singer that’s gone from cult queer curio to Broadway hit.
Head to The Loft Lounge for a sneak peek at two new films (6 Nov) focused on sharing the forgotten stories of queer women. Extracts from new doc Rebel Dykes examine the moment punk met feminism through the experiences of a gang of lesbians in 1980s London who feel their story has been wiped from the history books, whilst The Archivettes is a feature length piece about the Lesbian Herstory Archives - a collection of books, mementos and cultural artifacts housed in a New York brownstone that represents the world’s largest collection of materials highlighting lesbian history.
Deep In Vogue
From Paris Is Burning to FX series Pose, the vogue scene is predominantly depicted on screen as an American phenomenon, but this new documentary screening at The Nightingale (7 Nov) looks to address that by delving into the colourful history of voguing in the north of England, especially the various ‘houses’ competing in Manchester. Some of the performers seen in the film will be on hand to talk afterwards, and SHOUT is hosting its very own Vogue Ball at the Hippodrome the week after (15 Nov), hosted by Rikki Beadle-Blair with Birmingham’s own ‘House of Bab’ in attendance.
John Waters: This Filthy World
Don your cha-cha heels and get ready for a night of unmitigated filth, as the ‘People’s Pervert’ John Waters makes his first (and only?) visit to Birmingham (13 Nov). The cult director of Pink Flamingos, Multiple Maniacs, Polyester and Serial Mom brings his one-man show to the Hippodrome, a genuine laugh riot that regularly proves Waters is as talented a stand-up comedian as he is a director. There’s also a screening of his final studio film A Dirty Shame at The Electric Cinema afterwards...and who knows, maybe the man himself will make a cheeky appearance?