Thursday, November 20, 2008

They Had A Ball

Paris Is Burning, Jennie Livingston's 1990 documentary about the 80's drag-glam scene in New York, is a first class education in the many facets of fabulousness. It profiles the mostly gay men, women, and menwomen of color who participated in costume competitions known as Balls. These events would prompt competitors to slave over a buzzing sewing machine and a hot iron in their quest to create the fiercest ensemble their side of a Dynasty episode. The goal of course was to be crowned a legend and pick up a trophy in the category of their choosing. Along the way they invented voguing and initiated a club culture that lasted the better part of a decade. The film is phenomenal and a surprisingly touching portrait of its subjects. Here's part 1 as posted on the internets. The subject matter and language may not be suitable for all audiences (how official sounding!):

Want to finish it? Here are parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

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