Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
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
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…
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.…
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.
OPULENCE! You own everything! Everything is yours!
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…
God, please just let us celebrate while we're here. Let us dance and open up the world to one another. We want to live out our dreams and be the people who we always wanted to be. We'll reach for that safe place where we can exist and let everything else fall out of vision. This hyper awareness of appearance, actions and danger should rest long enough so we can move to song. An opening in a void where everything isn't pitch black so we can come out and shout who we are. We're Xtravaganza and we're proud. And we live hand in hand without the worry of a real world. Everything's a ball and we'd vogue for hours into the sunlight and walk home safely and rest like everyone else, and when dusk comes around again we'd do it once more with no fear of rejection, personhood or danger. We'd be home. If only for a moment.
OPULENCE! You own everything! Everything is yours!
Paris is Burning works so well as a documentary because its subject is so fascinating. The movie chronicles the Golden Age of New York's ball room culture in the 1980s. This movement involved mostly African American and Latino members of the LGBT who took part in extravagant runway showcases of sexuality, fashion, and fantasy. The film acts as a great study of the nature of gender and the performances we must give everyday when obeying assigned and scripted gender roles. The movie is also a lot of fun. While it does delve into the difficulties the gay community faced in the '80s, it does more to showcase the community that was built. Its a community where almost anything goes and people are accepted for who they are, and that's powerful stuff. And the balls look fun; they're over the top, feature drag, feature voguing, and are an escape for many young people.
The ABC's of what Drag is all about.
As well-shot and well-edited as this documentary is, it's the people who open their hearts, minds and lives in front of the camera that made it so memorable, important, and just so damn good. A lot of truth is said about racial and social inequality, homophobia, and transphobia in society, as well as personal confessions of these people's dreams, desires, pasts, and their relationship with the balls, a place where they can escape their everyday struggles and be themselves with no fear of judgement.
But much more than just a universal story about escapism and belonging, this movie tells this very specific and particular story of this very specific, particular, and fascinating world. The impact of what these people have…
A truly unique piece of art in a league of it's own.
Though I am aware that some components of this film essentializes queer culture in 1980's New York, it is still landmark cinema, particularly in the climate of Reagan America. Also, I could watch the voguing all damn day.
holds up. still one of the greatest time capsule documentaries ever made
Long overdue viewing.
With one less than notable exception, I've never participated in drag culture, but in my youth I frequented many many drag events. One of which, called Lashes, I would clear my schedule for every week. For almost 2 years I never missed a show. Seeing the queens in and out of personae really was an eye opener, at 11 PM they'd be some immaculately exaggerated caricature of a woman and by 2 AM when the bars were closing they'd be all baggy jeans and baseball caps. I never really thought much of it, but going to those events must've impacted my views of masculinity.
Part of me sees Paris Is Burning through a romanticized lens; I would've…
Interesting and depressing look into 80s drag culture and the ballroom scene. It just makes me want to listen to Zebra Katz and watch some RuPaul's Drag Race.
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen
- For All Mankind
- I've Heard the Mermaids Singing
- Zazie dans le métro
- Allegro non troppo
- The Adventures of Prince Achmed
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
- Meshes of the Afternoon
- Merrily We Go to Hell
- The Cabbage Patch Fairy
Films Directed or Co-Directed by Women