17 October 2009 12:30 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Matt Canada here with another edition of "Screen Queens". Last week we looked at To Wong Foo, a mainstream lighthearted approach to drag queens and their fab subculture. So this week, a more realistic, nuanced, and sensitive approach to the same subject. Jennie Livingston's seminal documentary Paris Is Burning is a film I have been trying to find for years now, and it more than lives up to its reputation.

The film examines New Yorks mainly black and latino ball subculture, in which groups of queens, termed Houses (ex. House of Labeija, House of Xtravaganza), compete for prizes in categories like 'Realness' (most able to pass in the straight world), 'Pretty Girl', 'High Fashion Winter Sportswear', 'Miss Cheesecake', and 'Town and Country' to name just a few. Livingston's camera explores the lives of the different types of members within these Houses: famed drag queen Dorian Corey; House 'Mothers' Anji Xtravaganza, »

- CanadaMatt

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Paris Is Burning (1990)
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