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…
Manages to counter the celebratory nature of the Ball itself with a constant underlying current of sadness. Many of the interviewees talk about the importance of the Ball in do-or-die terms. People showing up who have no homes, showing up hungry. "It's all they have." As jubilant as the Ball ends up being to watch, and as happy as they all look to be there, it's not enough. Not even close.
Narrow in focus and wide in scope, this documentary about New York’s drag culture structures itself by detailing various ‘ball’ categories, terms, and personalities, allowing those within this world to explain it. Instead of getting inopportune questions from someone the audience is supposed to mirror, the film presents various character studies, giving a human perspective to something foreign to many. To answer the ‘why’ question, the movie asks the ‘how’ question, and successfully integrates the audience within the culture, instead of alienating them. While the documentary may have a niche focus, it reveals something much larger about a period in history.
The definitive response to Reagan's 80's as well as a prescient, melancholy glance at where New York was heading.
Take it away, Ms. Corey: "It's like a good movie, if there's no emotion, you don't enjoy it." And there's plenty to spare here.
For a documentary that seems to be about one very specific scene, in one very specific moment of history this ends up truly being about everything—race, class disparity, (obviously) sexuality and gender identity, drugs, crime—the whole shebang. A perfect portrait of Reagan's New York.
This was my first time watching this. I think this is a really important documentary. Watching this made me think of the doc Style Wars, another doc that I think is important. Both serve as an informative primer into a subculture we might not know that much about. Both are more than 20 years old but still feel entertaining and educational despite their age.
I could see myself revisiting this and enjoying it again and again.
"Everybody wants to leave something behind them…you left a mark on the world if you just get through it and a few people remember your name."
Revolutionary is an understatement.
The truest expressions of the American Dream come from those who will never achieve it, and can only imitate it. Yet sometimes, the imitation is grander than the original.
In the Ballroom, you can become what you've always wanted to be. You can be a runway model of the latest Haute Couture (swiped) off the rack from Dolce and Gabbana. You can be a little white princess who gets everything her little white heart desires. You can be a business executive at a Fortune 500 company, or you can be a business executive's trophy wife.
No one will tell you that you can't be what you want because you're gay and black. Their only criterion is whether or…
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
Scout Tafoya of Roger Ebert.com assembled a list of the "Greatest Films Directed by Women" over on his personal blog.…