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…
Reminded me a bit of Decline III. Which is a good comparison. Overall, I liked it.
A beautiful and personal look into the New York drag scene and LGBT community in the 80s
"is this realness or not? let it be motherfucking hot."
There's something sad in the beauty of these mythical cultures because I'll never personally experience that sense of time and place or interact with its inhabitants. Instead I may only gaze in wistful, distant wonder and remember real people as characters in a fairy tale. It's the only connection I have, but at least I have it.
One of the most important documentaries ever made. See it!!!!
this doc is so important and should be required viewing for every cis het person (especially white cis het people) who wanna appropriate the culture created by black & latino trans women/queer men thanks
Y bueno, después de ver un documental que me dejó con ganas de más, decidí buscar en YouTube otro que tenía muchas ganas de ver. Afortunadamente sí encontré "Paris Is Burning", desafortunadamente no estoy muy acostumbrado al slang "African American" y se me fueron varios diálogos.
¡Pero no se me fue ni uno de los momentos de las pasarelas! Y es que es inevitable: la película es un testimonio de la época y de la existencia de las casas que cobijaban a "familias" de bailarines y drag queens con sus aires de libertad y sueños de bonanza. Me encantó también el contraste entre el glamour cutre en la pista vs. la paz cochambrosa de las habitaciones donde entrevistan a los…
I was quite tired
I don't know if I can call this a well-made documentary on a technical level but it is certainly an important documentary that is equal parts fascinating and eye-opening. Although, this is from the perspective of a well-to-do Asian young adult who, try as he might, cannot truly identify with any of the handful of minority subcultures captured in this film.
Paris Is Burning left me with mixed feelings; I'm bothered about the overt inequality and social stigma in the world, but some part of me is very happy that these folks have found refuge, family, and bits of happiness in each other.
Having watched Pink Flamingos in the morning, The Rocky Picture Horror Show in the evening, and Paris Is Burning at night, I think my world just got a little bigger and better. I should do more themed movie days like this.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
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…