Paris Is Burning
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Jennie Livingston. 1990, 71 min. With Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, Venus Xtravaganza. 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—and since becoming one of most influential and enduring documentaries ever made—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, Paris Is Burning celebrates the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community. Digitally remastered by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in conjunction with Sundance Institute and Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Preservation funded by Sundance Institute, Outfest and the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation.
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