Paris Is Burning
Central Cinema is thrilled to be closing out Pride month with Jennie Livingston’s watershed portrait of joy and beauty thriving in a hostile world, newly restored for an exclusive theatrical run from Janus Films.
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 and 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