This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
Paris is Burning
Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary (directeor Jennie Livingston) filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, chronicling the ball culture of New York City and the poor, African American and Latino gay and transgendered community involved in it. Many consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls and exploration of queer culture
Exactly two years ago I drank a lot of coconut rum and ended up lying on the floor of my apartment at 2 AM, watching Paris Is Burning on Netflix. (I threw up all the next day.) Last year I did it again, albeit drinking much less, and now tonight it's the third January 17 in a row I've observed this tradition. I hope I watch it again a year from now, too, because if any movie should be an annual experience it's Paris Is Burning, the documentary I hold most dear.
I was re-watching this when I got the news that the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states and I cried for about an hour. Watching this didn't help.
I just can't help but think about all the queer kids that are going to be born today and in the future in the US who will never live in a world where their love is illegal and we as a community still have so much work to do but it's so nice to have this victory and I'm so emotional and so gay.
The movie is still great, by the way.
(It's my sister's birthday today, when I see her I'll probably be more excited about marriage equality. Sorry, sis.)
Obviously I've never felt like I was all here; like I was detached from my own experience. Everything always felt like it was probably more visceral to everyone else than it was to me. For the longest time I would have to force myself to care about anything. I knew I was supposed to feel something about relationships, feelings, being hurt or loved, so I faked it. Conjured up the responses I saw other people do. Performed them, if you will. My mind kind of sat outside my body. I still feel this today, though I'm finally lowering down to earth a little more each day.
After this film ended I happened to click back to my Facebook where I…
As a trans-woman twirls around on a sandy beach, the wind seemingly on the verge of whisking her away, she sings "I am my oooown creation!" I couldn't help but smile as my heart swelled.
It is a damn shame that Jennie Livingston hasn't continued directing films. Paris is Burning is an incredible documentary which has served as a guide of sorts to drag queens for the past 24 years. You can not watch RuPaul's Drag Race without hearing the words: shade, reading, fierce or xtravaganza at least a dozen times...each episode. Drag mothers and houses are still very much a common practice, providing families and support to those who have been cast out of their homes for being gay.…
One of the things that is lost when even productions "with their hearts in the right place" cast cisgender actors as trans characters is the notion, the very idea that trans people can be beautiful. By casting even an attractive, not altogether masculine actor like Andrew Garfield as a transwoman, even the sympathetic, ostensibly progressive voices out there reinforce that there is something "different" about trans people, and things like Arcade Fire's "We Exist" video or DALLAS BUYERS CLUB ultimately do not deserve credit for moving the discussion forward when it moves from "Ew, what freaks!" to, "Hey, it doesn't matter if they're freaks."
One of the things that PARIS IS BURNING makes abundantly clear is that all those queer…
Paris is Burning, Jeannie Livingston’s poignant and illuminating documentary, focuses on the underground Harlem drag-ball scene of the late 1980s before it was repackaged for the mainstream. I love documentaries like this, those that explore a unique subculture specific to a particular time and place. Whilst I knew Madonna borrowed ‘voguing’ from the New York drag scene I knew very little about this niche gathering.
Livingston’s film evocatively chronicles the period as the LGBT community meet at flamboyant balls to compete in competitions and runway face-offs. Following a handful of participants, the documentary explores the rules and lingo of the subculture as we learn about the importance of the balls in the lives of those that take part. From the…
I've spent the past 15 minutes trying to come up with a rating and a review for this, but I honestly don't know what to say about it or what kind of score to give it. I'll give it at least 3 stars, but honestly, it's just confused me because I have no idea whether it deserves more or less.
I watched this fascinating documentary three months ago... It really can change your own perspective about gender and sexual "barriers". Amazing work.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Despite a rough aesthetic that reflects its early indie roots, it is a fascinating exploration of a specific moment and place. All the more touching given the unmentioned - and probably unknown for a least some of the filming - context of the 1980's AIDS crisis.
Not really a spoiler, but many of the principal subjects eventually succumbed to HIV/AIDS related illnesses. Also one of the few films I can recall that features scenes shot (unbeknownst to the filmmakers) in the presence of a murder victim's body, i.e., the corpse stuffed in Dorian Corey's belongings in her apartment, discovered after her death.
Watching Paris is Burning is like entering a different and strange world, the world being the balls, center of the gay entertainment scene.
It's actually quite interesting, kinda sad that most of the people shown in the film are dead now. The technical stuff is kind of low-fi, I guess it represents perfectly the ball scene.
”I am my own special creation”
Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning chronicles the peak of the underground ball culture that had its epicenter in New York City amidst the gay and black community in the mid-eighties. These groups were shaped by male homosexuals who in order to escape their grim realities chose to unite and form these glamorous fashion and dance events where most would pose as drag-queens. These balls were created so that an entire community of people that were systematically rejected by society and their own families could have a safe haven where they could be who they really were and still be accepted. These were mostly people who had gone through life without ever experiencing comfort or…
Dark and campy. Funny and horrifying. Beautiful and gritty. Surely the best documentary ever made, with so many loveable characters and so many amazing quotes. Do yourself a favor and watch this diamond in the rough. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you will learn. A lot. About reading (which is what.... FUNDAMENTAL.) and about family.
And never forget: It is a known fact that a woman do carry an evening bag at supper time.
This is one of my all time favourites. The rawness and cutting edge nature of this documentary are totally groundbreaking. To be both gay and black is the most challenging thing that you will need to overcome. This film has delivered and has graciously even surpassed that challenge. Sashay! I lost myself in this!
scavenger hunt 15 - film 16/30
task 6: a favourite film from one of your letterboxd friends that you haven’t seen yet
god this film was so beautiful and i love all my gay friends and the gay community.
films like this are so important.
i don't know why but me and my friends gave a hearty laugh when a random white male suddenly said "everyone please keep moving so we can keep these aisles clear".
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…
movies directed by women,
regularly updated with new releases