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Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Paris is Burning

1990, Jennie Livingston, USA, 77 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Aug 30th 8:00pm
  • Sat, Aug 31st 4:00pm
  • Sat, Aug 31st 7:45pm
  • Sun, Sep 1st 6:00pm
  • Wed, Sep 4th 8:00pm

"Jennie Livingston's exuberant and loving 1990 documentary about 'voguing' and the drag balls of Harlem is both a celebration and a canny commentary."—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"A film about resistance, passion and the determined reclamation of cultural space, PARIS IS BURNING has been tremendously influential."—Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

Capturing the outrageous fashions and larger-than-life personalities of New York City's predominantly African American drag-ball culture in the 1980s, PARIS IS BURNING remains a touchstone in queer cinema. Director Livingston documents the competition between rival drag families as they engage in the hilariously vicious insult ritual known as "reading" and cycle through various categories of drag performance, imitating executives, college girls, and female celebrities. In between virtuoso voguing and runway displays, Livingston observes the ways in which "house mothers" mentor up-and-coming ball stars, providing a support system that often proves more familial than actual blood relations. What emerges is an inspiring and imminently quotable portrait of a community of dedicated outsiders, as committed to their art as they are to each other. New 2K DCP digital restoration. (CW)

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