8.1/10
5,578
35 user 22 critic

Paris Is Burning (1990)

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.

Director:

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16 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brooke Xtravaganza ...
(as Carmen and Brooke)
André Christian
Dorian Corey
Paris Duprée
Junior Labeija
Willi Ninja
Sandy Ninja
Kim Pendavis
Freddie Pendavis
Sol Pendavis
Avis Pendavis
Octavia St. Laurent ...
(as Octavia Saint Laurent)
Stevie Saint Laurent
Anji Xtravaganza ...
(as Angie Xtravaganza)

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in October 1997. See more »

Quotes

Pepper LaBeija: This is white America. Any other nationality that is not of the white set, knows this and accepts this till the day they die. That is everybody's dream and ambition as a minority - to live and look as well as a white person. It is pictured as being in America. Every media you have; from TV to magazines, to movies, to films... I mean, the biggest thing that minority watches is what? "Dynasty" and "The Colbys". Umm, "All My Children" - the soap operas. Everybody has a million-dollar bracket. When...
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Soundtracks

Who's Zoomin' Who
Written by Aretha Franklin (uncredited), Preston Glass (uncredited) and Narada Michael Walden (uncredited)
Performed by Aretha Franklin
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User Reviews

 
Would love to see this on DVD!!!
16 August 2004 | by (Seattle, WA-USA) – See all my reviews

Growing up in NYC in the late 80's/early 90's club-scene, I can personally say this is one of the most important documentaries made in covering that place in this time period. No Madonna did not come up with the idea of Voguing but this is where she got it from! Instead of taking out violence on each other or in bitchy cat fights, voguing allowed people to "fight" within the confines of everything short of touching each other (which would warrant an automatic disqualification). Seeing these kind of extraordinarily talented/well orchestrated "throw-downs" in the clubs was nothing short of spectacular and all the big names from back in the day are here...Pepper La Beija, Paris Duprée,Xtragavaganza, etc...all commemorated in the likes of such period-pieces as Malcom McLaren's song "Deep in Vogue"...it didn't matter who you were, or where you were from because when you walked through those doors into this "magic kingdom" of sorts, you became part of something bigger than yourself/you were important/and most importantly the creation of your own moves and imagination...and anybody from anywhere could become King (or Queen) as the case may have been. The words and wit were just as sharp as the moves on the floor. All of the tension, excitement, and magic of that very urban NYC energy is captured in this film. BRILLIANT!!! PLEASE RELEASE ON DVD for the world to see!!! Thank You!


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