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Paris Is Burning (1990)

 -  Documentary  -  August 1991 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,477 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 14 critic

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.

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Title: Paris Is Burning (1990)

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Cast

Credited cast:
André Christian
Dorian Corey
Paris Duprée
David The Father Xtravaganza
Eileen Ford ...
Herself
Junior Labeija
Pepper LaBeija ...
(as Pepper Labeija)
Sandy Ninja
Willi Ninja
Avis Pendavis
Freddie Pendavis
Kim Pendavis
Sol Pendavis
Stevie Saint Laurent
Octavia St. Laurent ...
(as Octavia Saint Laurent)
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Storyline

This is a documentary of 'drag nights' among New York's underclass. Queens are interviewed and observed preparing for and competing in many 'balls'. The people, the clothes, and the whole environment are outlandish. Written by Robbie Smith <robsmith@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Having a ball...wish you were here

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Children Are  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,779,620 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A young Pepper LaBeija can be seen very briefly as a contestant in the 1968 documentary The Queen, about a drag beauty pageant held in New York City. The legendary Crystal LaBeija, original mother and founder of the House of LaBeija, is also featured giving a fierce and shady reading. See more »

Quotes

Dorian Corey: I always had hopes of being a big star. But as you get older, you aim a little lower. Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you've made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you've left a mark. You don't have to bend the whole world. I think it's better to just enjoy it. Pay your dues, and just enjoy it. If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Somewhere Over the Rainbow (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Deep in Vogue
Written and Performed by Malcolm McLaren
See more »

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User Reviews

Really well made. Interesting. Sad, too.
17 November 2004 | by (Walnut Creek, CA) – See all my reviews

I will confess that I had no idea what I was walking into when I saw it. At the time, I was between jobs and seeing every movie I could. It was either that-or look for a job!

Remember seeing the title and thinking it was about WW2, Hitler, etc. Of course, once the movie started, I was surprised.

It was a very cool movie. I don't think it matters if you're straight, gay, or somewhere in between. It opened my eyes to a whole new sub-culture I never knew existed. What I saw was a group of men very passionate about something in their lives. Fascinating to watch them transform their appearance.

Sad to see how their families didn't accept them or when there was a death of one of the principals. I remember they showed one of the actors truly depressed b/c his family (maybe his father) tossed all of the clothes he had collected. Outside of the monetary value, he really had pride in all that he had amassed over the years.

I left thinking I wouldn't want to try it, but I thought it would be very fun to attend one of these balls.


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