Starting today and continuing on Fridays throughout the summer, we’ll be posting a movie that someone on our staff has picked as their favorite Miramax film. While the summer blockbusters invade the theaters, consider watching one of the staff picks over the weekend instead.
Today’s pick is from Zach Middleton. Zach works on our social media team and chose the award-winning film, Paris is Burning.
I love documentaries because they capture a specific moment in time and tell personal stories that might otherwise be lost to the past. That’s certainly true of Paris is Burning. It is a portrait of New York’s drag ball culture of the late 1980s that centers around a primarily African American group of gay men, drag queens and transgender women who are ostracized by their families and society because of who they are. It provides a window into a counterculture that captures its subjects’ strength, resilience and pride in the face of enormous struggle. It is also an important social commentary on class, gender, race and the quest for fame. The film inspires younger generations of LGBT people and has spawned countless quotes and terms that are readily used in the gay community today. This is documentary realness.
Paris is Burning
- While dressing, Dorian Corey explains the high of performing in the ball circuit. In this scene: Dorian Corey (Dorian Corey)
- Pepper LaBeija breaks down his views on members of the drag ball circuit getting a sex change. In this scene: Pepper LaBeija (Pepper LaBeija)
- Members of the gay and drag communities describe the meanings and benefits of holding a ball. In this scene: Octavia Saint Laurent (Octavia Saint Laurent)
- Angie Xtravaganza describes the dangers of being a transexual in New York City and the tragic consequences that sometimes come of it. In this scene: Angie Xtravaganza (Angie Xtravaganza)
- Members of the ball circuit explain various categories of ball competition, including military and high fashion eveningwear. In this scene: Dorian Corey (Dorian Corey)