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
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…
This is one of the most entertaining and fascinating documentaries I have ever seen. I've known about Paris is Burning for years now, but I never knew that it would be so interesting while also being an incredible time capsule of an era that was already over by the time this was done filming.
A great documentary that provides an interesting insight into the LGBTI+ culture of people of colour in New York. Not only does the documentary look into ball culture with a very enahnced but it also looks at the people within this community, their hopes/struggles/aims and dreams. Very much recommended, especially in a time where the impact queer people of colour have had on the struggle for LGBTI+ rights is being ignored in favour of whitewashing and generic everyman heroes.
"It's hard being a transsexual in New York City"
It has been a while, I know. Almost an entire year since I last used this site! Absolute on-the-wall bonkers. Ludicrous even! So, how are you doing? Kids alright? Wife, husband, dog, that rotting piece of fruit you threw out the window earlier? That's good, that's good. Me? Well, I'm alright I guess. Going more than 9 months without watching any films almost drove me insane, certainly. Finished High School, looked for a job, still haven't found a job, you know, the usual.
This is kinda awkward for me honestly. Only because last time I used this site you all knew me by a fake personality *Gasp!* Or, lack…
"If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hurray for you."
Such a powerful film, and still so important. As I was reading about this before watching tonight, I realised it has come under criticism from various people (mostly re fetishising the subjects, showing the balls as a spectacle etc.), which is not something I personally would have got from the film (I'm going to have to read some more about it, though - I'm going to go track down 'Is Paris Burning?' by bell hooks). Either way, it's still a film everyone should watch. I wish it hadn't taken me so long.
I never really know what to say about documentaries, because I just don't watch enough of them. But this was beautifully filmed and edited.
If nothing else this…
This is another one where from like an outsider perspective I didn't see the flaws as much as others did (which is on me). But I was very much moved and dazzled by it when I first watched it; I suppose I should probably rewatch to try to be more critical of the outside-looking-in lens with which it was shot.
really moving and important portrait of a scene, a place, a moment, a group of people.
livingston's tone is perfect, and her rapport with her subjects pays off, they really open up and bring depth, analysis, fun and beauty to the film.
the importance of documenting.
And many sweaters I wish to acquire.
“To be able to blend, that’s what realness is.”
Twenty some odd years before RuPaul gave us Drag Race, we had Paris is Burning. An unflinching, fascinating, and important look at the NY drag scene. It’s a wonderful documentary that should be required watching, most especially if you are a fan of drag culture. Watch it and learn how many different kinds of drag they had and how it was a community that embraced transgendered individuals. They were one community, like we should all be now. Really great film.
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
Films Directed or Co-Directed by Women