The existence of Valentine’s Day programming necessitates the existence of alternative Valentine’s Day programming. The most extreme (and, it should be noted, earnest) example of this that I’ve ever witnessed was a midnight show of Nekromantik 2, which the host asserted is a love story once you get past the whole “corpse” thing. That screening has come and gone, but there are a handful of repertory series this February suitable for attending either alone (blissfully or otherwise) or with a sweetie (ditto).
One to watch is Sapph-O-Rama, which originally played at NYC’s Film Forum in 2000 and relaunches in an expanded form—this edition features 30 films, up from ten—on February 2. The series spans a century of lesbian representation on screen, from the “artfully decadent” 1922 silent film Salomé through the subliminal lavender of the Production Code era to the rapturous 2018 documentary Shakedown, about an underground Los Angeles strip club built on Black Sapphic desire. And if you can’t make it to NYC? Well, long-distance longing is part of the Sapphic experience.