Pose is set in the world of 1987 and "looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world."
Victoria Cruz investigates the mysterious 1992 death of black gay rights activist and Stonewall veteran, Marsha P. Johnson. Using archival interviews with Johnson, and new interviews with Johnson's family, friends and fellow activists.
Catherine Shugrue Dos Santos
Jack is 24, sometimes he's a drag queen named Sabrina. In 1967, as Sabrina, he's the mistress of ceremonies at a national drag queen contest in New York City. The camera goes behind the ... See full summary »
Bruce Jay Friedman
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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.
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This film came out 12 years years ago, and was a revelation even for people who knew something of the drag scene in New York. The textbooks on drag performance say nothing of these vogueing houses. Anthony Slide's 'Great Pretenders' says nothing. Julian Fleisher's "The Drag Queens of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide" with its flow chart of influence that pulls together Julian Eltinge, Minette, the Warhol queens, and the 90s club scene - and postdates the film - ignores the houses completely. Even Laurence Senelick's "The Changing Room" - the closest thing that we have to a definitive book on drag performance rushes quickly past the film and does not give the background information that one would have expected from it.
I understand from the film itself,and various articles I found on the web that this house system goes back decades. The major film performance by a house member prior to 1990 seems to be Chrystal La Beija in "The Queen", 1968. The historical context is the biggest missing part of "Paris is Burning".
The film is valuable because it focuses on a scene otherwise being ignored. It is a valuable snapshot of life in 1989. The unfortunate fact that Venus Xtravaganza was murdered during filming provides a very dramatic ending, but this is not the only film about transsexuals to include a real-life murder. As we now know, Dorian Corey had a mummified corpse in her literal closet, but this did not come out until three years later.
Of historical importance, but we still need someone to do either a book or a documentary film that provides more context.
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