MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 380 this week

Paris Is Burning (1990)

 -  Documentary  -  August 1991 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,416 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 13 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.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 04 Sep 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 10 Sep 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 08 Feb 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 26 May 2013
 
list image
a list of 27 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Paris Is Burning (1990)

Paris Is Burning (1990) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Paris Is Burning.

User Polls

12 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Is Alixe and Gwen's sexual disagreement the cause of their problems, or are their problems the cause of their sexual disagreement? And how should an artist nurture her vision: by seeking ... See full summary »

Director: Jennie Livingston
Stars: Marin Hinkle, Brigitte Bako, Steve Buscemi
Grey Gardens (1975)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.

Directors: Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Brooks Hyers
We Were Here I (2011)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

Directors: David Weissman, Bill Weber
Stars: Ed Wolf, Paul Boneberg, Daniel Goldstein
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill ... See full summary »

Director: Marlon Riggs
Stars: Marlon Riggs, Michael Bell, Kerrigan Black
Spellbound (2002)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Stars: Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar
Tarnation (2003)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette's documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother -- a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more -- culled from 19 years of his life.

Director: Jonathan Caouette
Stars: Jonathan Caouette, Renee Leblanc, Adolph Davis
Food, Inc. (2008)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner
Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Kirby Dick, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush
How Do I Look (2006)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Wolfgang Busch
Stars: Tracy Africa, Kevin Aviance, Pepper LaBeija
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Early morning dog-walkers witness a tragedy.

Director: Jennie Livingston
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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 Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Is It All Over My Face!
Performed by Loose Joints
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Defiance and Pathos
20 March 2000 | by (Honolulu, HI, USA) – See all my reviews

In the beginning of this film, one of the commentators says that he was told that he has two strikes against him: he is black and male. But in addition to that, he has a third strike: he's gay. "You're going to have to be stronger than you ever imagined," he is told. "Paris is Burning" is a documentary about gay black and Hispanic men who are tranvestites or transsexuals.

The miracle of "Paris is Burning" is that director Jennie Livingston takes a subject that could have very easily become a freak show and allows the people in it their humanity. We learn their views of homosexuality, men, women, their hopes, their disappointments, their dreams. Some of these dreams are so unattainable it's tragic. Many of the people are seriously in denial;

This is not a film for everyone. There are shots in this movie of nude transsexuals. If you have a problem with homosexuality, then this movie isn't for you. But if you do see this movie you'll realise "Paris is Burning" isn't really about men wearing women's clothes, it's about a group of people who are routinely marginalised and put down by society at large, and what they do to get a sense of community in their lives.

I've watched this movie four times since it was released in 1991, because it says so many things: it's a commentary about materialism in our culture, about gender roles, about rich and poor people, about the media and what it celebrates, about fame and adulation. "Paris is Burning" is one of the most humane, and one of the saddest, movies I've ever seen.


40 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The two boys, homeworldpilot
OMG i can't believe it! drownedw0rld
Song question davisaurus
A sad film Babo2
DVD DScully1245
Willi Ninja R.I.P. HeroineCheek
Discuss Paris Is Burning (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page