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Paris Is Burning (1991)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 3,392

My Rating

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

Sep 6, 2005

Academy Entertainment

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (0) | DVD (5)

Livingston is smart enough to realize that her subjects are best equipped to explain themselves.

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

This landmark docu celebrates the resourcefulness of a group that's subcultural but not truly countercultural--its denizens long to become members of the society they imitate, operating at its periphery.

October 6, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

The beauty of the film is Livingston's nonjudgmental, accommodating camera.

September 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Paris Is Burning

This documentary focuses on the aspirations and culture of African American homosexuals and transsexuals.
What is interesting about this subject is the depth of the culture. Filled with nuances and its own patois, gay and transsexual culture is remarkably complex, and the film exposes all.
I can't say that I enjoyed the film because I've never been sitting in my apartment and thought, "Gee, I wonder what gay culture was like in the 80s." But that's not the film's fault.
Overall, if you've ever been sitting in your apartment thinking, "Gee, I wonder what gay culture was like in the 80s," then this is the film for you.
July 30, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

It's just fab that there are any documentaries as revealing and close to its subjects as 'Paris Is Burning'. An obvious landmark for queer filmmaking, a paradigm examination of documentary subjects - footage of people emoting and expressing raw feelings. Beautiful
February 14, 2008
Stinger839

Super Reviewer

Good addition to the documentary canon of the gay/lesbian community. This one centres on drag queens and in particular minority drag queens. Once again reinforces the notion of the community coming in various colours.
February 14, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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