Paris is Burning

USA 1990. Dir: Jennie Livingston. 78 min. DCP

“A gorgeous, provocative look at an LGBTQ subculture existing in the face of intense discrimination ... Stop reading this and go watch the film.”
ELEANOR STANFORD, NEW YORK TIMES

“Profound ... One of the best documentaries of all time.”
VOGUE

NEW RESTORATION! “You. Own. Everything.” Just in time for Pride, Jennie Livingston’s invaluable and eternally enthralling record of the Harlem drag ball scene of the 1980s sashays into The Cinematheque in a brilliant new restoration! Realness, reading, mopping, walking: Paris is Burning is a veritable textbook on the then-underground culture and lexicon of drag balls, where shade-throwing queens from rival Houses compete for legendary status in a series of fiercely competitive, rigorously judged runway walk-offs. Beneath the opulence and pageantry is a deeply felt portrait of marginalized Black and Latinx gay men and trans women navigating a dangerous world of homophobia, transphobia, racism, poverty, and AIDS. Released shortly after Madonna ushered “voguing” into the mainstream, Livingston’s canonical documentary features iconic walkers Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza, and werk-ready hits by Cheryl Lynn and Diana Ross.


PERSONS UNDER 14 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT
ANNUAL $3 MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED FOR THOSE 18+

 

REVIEWS

"Exuberant and loving ... 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."

Chicago Reader | full review

"Nothing short of revelatory ... It’s still as enthralling and rapturous and disarmingly truthful as it was 25 years ago."

Out Magazine | full review