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Paris Is Burning (1990)

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.
(R, 76 min.)


Thursday, October 24, 2019

7:00 PM

Members of Get Dusted will be onsite to introduce the film.

Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag ball scene. Made over seven years, Paris Is Burning offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion “houses,” from fierce contests for trophies, to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia and transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens, and trans women—including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza—Paris Is Burning brings it, celebrating the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community. [Janus]

Starring: Brooke Xtravaganza, André Christian, Dorian Corey
Director: Jennie Livingston
Genre: Documentary

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"Truly remarkable."

— Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The way that [director Jennie Livingstone] looks at the subculture and just lets them tell their own stories is just so wonderful."

— Claudia Puig FilmWeek, (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles)

"One emerges from this film not only with a new vocabulary and a fresh way of viewing the straight world but with a bracing object lesson in understanding what society "role models" are all about."

— Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader