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Paris is Burning [Livingston, 1990]

Paris is Burning


This superb documentary from 1990 is one of my personal favorites. Tragic, beautiful, honest, heartbreaking, and touching, this film explores the underground “House Ball” culture in the 1970’s – 80’s in Harlem. This film features a colorful cast of characters and covers a broad range of topics including race, class, alienation, fame, homophobia, transphobia, gender identity, and AIDS.

The film also looks at how underground subcultures influence popular culture; Madonna adopted their “vogueing” style of dance they invented for the music video for her 1990 hit song “Vogue.” Though the film was wildly popular at film festivals, it caused quite a controversy within the general public – a Christian group boycotted the film and described it as “despicably evil” and as “promoting a lifestyle that God abhors.”

Madonna herself was a big fan of the film and attended the Los Angeles premiere with the cast.


This film is currently streaming on Netflix!

This entry was published on April 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm. It’s filed under biographical documentaries, hollywood, LGBTQ, los angeles, netflix, New York City, pop culture, sociocultural documentaries, subculture, Uncategorized, urban and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Paris is Burning [Livingston, 1990]

  1. This is an amazing doc! I really enjoyed it!

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