DON’T JUST STAND THERE…
It’s 30 years since the iconic documentary Paris is Burning was released, so we look back at the history of the drag ball scene, voguing and what it looks like today.
PARIS IS BURNING
FRI 6 NOV @ 6PM | Arc cinema | $12/$10 or $30/$25 for all three films
1990| M | 71 mins | DCP | USA | D: Jennie Livingston
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, 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, transphobia, racism, AIDS and poverty.
Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens and trans women – including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey and Venus Xtravaganza – Paris Is Burning brings it, celebrating the joy of movement, the force of eloquence and the draw of community.
‘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
‘For a little documentary, it has stayed with me for decades’ – Reeling Reviews