Since the late 1980s, Jenni Olson has been a powerhouse in the LGBT film community. A former codirector of San Francisco’s long-running Frameline festival, she has gone on to win acclaim for her own experimental essay films—including The Joy of Life (2005) and The Royal Road (2015)—which were recently acquired by the Harvard Film Archive along with a series of works she has collected over the years. As a historian and curator, she has expanded our knowledge of queer cinema with her tireless advocacy for neglected filmmakers like Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. (Buddies), whose pioneering chronicles of 1970s and ’80s gay life she continues to promote and preserve.
Last year she stopped by our closet to talk about some of her favorite movies in the collection. Her eclectic selections run the gamut from the swoon-worthy lesbian romance Desert Hearts to the Hollywood classic Sweet Smell of Success to the documentaries of Louis Malle. Watch the video above to see everything she took home!