Paris Is Burning (1990)

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Movie Info

Poignant, well-received documentary that reveals the community of New York's minority drag queens, gay black and Latino men who cross dress as women and invent the dance style of "voguing," imitating the fashion poses on the covers of the magazine Vogue. As director Jennie Livingston discovers, her subjects band together into family-like "houses" for protection, taking the same last names and competing in drag balls where awards are given out for authenticity or "realness," as well as other … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Documentary, Gay & Lesbian, Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 6, 2005
Runtime:
Academy Entertainment

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Critic Reviews for Paris Is Burning

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 1990
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Paris Is Burning

½

This documentary is a beautiful time capsule of the "ball" culture of late eighties drag culture. Not only does it show the performance aspect of these intricate and flawless drag shows, but also the AIDS fueled hysteria of the time, discrimination against gay people, and the fears and doubts of these one of a kind people. Since the film was released, many of the performers have died of AIDS related illnesses, and many of their trade secrets and views on life are only evident on the celluloid that this film was printed on. The subjects of this two year documentary are fascinating because of their candor and reverence for their craft. The film is both insightful in its depiction of ball culture and thoroughly entertaining for its depth and scope.

FrizzDrop
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

A revealing (and sad) portrait of this subculture of the 1980s, it documents the balls, "houses" (or "families"), "voguing" and a "realness" competition that raises fascinating questions about what it is to be real (gay men even appear teaching women to behave like "real" women).

blacksheepboy
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A timeless, classic LBGT film. Quite bold for its time...which I guess means it isn't exactly "timeless"....still....

cchclaw
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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