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JENNIE LIVINGSTON

Paris Is Burning

 Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag-ball scene. Made over seven years, Paris Is Burning offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion “houses,” from fierce contests for trophies to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia, transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens, and trans women—including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza—Paris Is Burning brings it, celebrating the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community.


Paris Is Burning was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with Sundance Institute and Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Preservation was funded by Sundance Institute, Outfest, and the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation.

FILM INFO

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Jennie Livingston, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Livingston, ball community members Sol Pendavis and Freddie Pendavis, and filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris
  • Over an hour of never-before-seen outtakes
  • Audio commentary from 2005, featuring Livingston, ball community members Freddie Pendavis and Willi Ninja, and film editor Jonathan Oppenheim
  • New interview with LGBT film historian Jenni Olson
  • Episode of The Joan Rivers Show from 1991, featuring Livingston and ball community members Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Freddie Pendavis, and Ninja
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Michelle Parkerson and a 1991 review by poet Essex Hemphill

New cover by Eric Skillman. Cover photo by Jennie Livingston

PURCHASE OPTIONS

BLU-RAY1 Disc$31.96SRP: $39.95DVD2 Discs$23.96SRP: $29.95ADD TO CARTADD TO WISHLIST

DIGITAL OPTIONS

Paris Is Burning
CAST

Dorian CoreyMother, House of CoreyPepper LaBeijaMother, House of LaBeijaJunior LaBeijaHouse of LaBeijaAngie XtravaganzaMother, House of XtravaganzaVenus XtravaganzaHouse of XtravaganzaDanni XtravaganzaHouse of XtravaganzaCarmen XtravaganzaHouse of XtravaganzaBrooke XtravaganzaHouse of XtravaganzaWilli NinjaMother, House of NinjaOctavia SaintHouse of Saint LaurentFreddie PendavisHouse of PendavisKim PendavisHouse of PendavisSol PendavisHouse of PendavisParis DupreeMother, House of Dupree

CREDITS

DirectorJennie LivingstonProduced byJennie LivingstonEdited byJonathan OppenheimCinematography byPaul GibsonCoproducerBarry SwimarAssociate producerClaire GoodmanAssociate producerMeg McLaganExecutive producerMadison Davis LacyExecutive producerNigel Finch

RELATED FILMS

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Trailer for Paris is Burning

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FROM THE CURRENT

Paris Is Burning: The Fire This Time

New York City’s 1980s drag-ball scene comes to vibrant life in Jennie Livingston’s documentary, a landmark chronicle of the resilience and realness of queer communities of color.

By Michelle ParkersonESSAYS — FEB 25, 2020

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