If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
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…
Think of this as good homework if you are just starting to watch RuPaul's Drag Race.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Getting murdered is just part and parcel of being a transsexual in New York, they said, and all of a sudden the film got so very dark.
The reason it got dark is because transgender women, especially transwomen of color, still face terrible violence. It has been almost thirty years, and we as a society are still incredibly backwards.
Focusing on the life of these people, they are simply bright beacons of beauty and hope. They are strong. They are fierce. They are beautiful. They have created their own culture and own world, separate from the unaccepting world that does not accept them and love them the way they should be. I simply adore the LGBT+ community, and this documentary made me love them even more.
For someone with a very limited scope of knowledge about 80's drag and trans culture this was an excellent insight. It certainly asks you to contemplate the world we live in and how much and/or little progress society has made when considering minority groups and labels.
It was great to see both the fun and the struggle (and the fun of the struggle) laid bare, honest and open.
To begin, start here if you didn't see my first review of this. Any time I log this, I think I'll probably start with that. And I'm sure I have many logs of this in my future.
Still not my place to remark on the politics of this at all, but another watch did isolate a few more concrete thoughts I do have.
1. This movie is so fucking unfathomably beautiful and I don't understand how it is that came about but like it's right there with the Olympia films, the Qatsi films, and Microcosmos in terms of the most beautiful documentaries I've ever seen. Every frame exudes warmth, the camera never takes the easy option (there's a concurrent pair…
I honestly thought this was set in Paris
I hate myself
I knew that phrases like 'shade' came from the black community, but I didn't know that they came from the black queer/trans community!
Also more proof of black trans women inventing and white people claiming SAD BUT NOT SURPRISING. An informative must-watch for a look at history.
I would be hard-pressed to come up with a movie that is less mine to personally write about. It's wonderful in my opinion, the kind of thing where even the talking heads here are kinda unbelievably gorgeous somehow??? and for what little money I have is mandatory viewing for anyone who has used either "throwing shade" or "read for filth" or any derivation thereof in the past couple years and/or who has seen this gif. But this is definitely not a culture that is mine to comment upon, and looking into it more it's clear all the more how much there's plenty to unpack by people whose voices on it are more worth hearing. So, I'll try to find some…
Trans for trans.
Hi! I am Sally Jane Black. As some of you are no doubt aware, since I never…
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…