8.1/10
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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.

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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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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Village of the Giants (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Show
Written by Slick Rick (as R. Walters) and Doug E. Fresh (as D. Davis)
Performed by Doug E. Fresh
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User Reviews

 
It's Ball Time in NYC
30 March 2003 | by (United states) – See all my reviews

An excellent documentry. I personally remember this growing up in NYC in the early 80's. This movie is for anyone that wasn't around during that time period.This shows the one thing the African American Gay Underclass felt was solely theirs and the love and camadrie you see is real. The people are real and sadly few are still alive as this is being written. The balls are still held but not to the extent that they were in the the nineteen eighties. That time is gone forever. This is a good pre "homo thug" movie. When Queens were really proud to be extroverts. Goodbye to Storyville this is another era gone but greatly documented all hail film!


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