Last year when I interviewed supermodel of the world RuPaul the two of us decided that the greatest crime against gay America was the fact that Jennie Livingston’s iconic 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning had never seen a proper dvd release. Miramax has finally come to their senses and releases the film today. Work it out Miss Thing!
The film chronicles the vogue balls and house wars of the late 80s club scene. Never sensationalizing its subjects, the documentary is poignant and captures the harsh realities of poverty, racism, homophobia, AIDS, and drug addiction. The truly remarkable thing about the film is just how much inspiration can be found in a cruel world. Although turning tricks and hungry, these girls turn it out in Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel and the imaginary world of fame, riches, and happiness seems closer than it ever has been. For during those moments on the runway, everything in the world is beautiful. Want proof? Watch the trailer
The film will be a revelation for those who have never seen it and a fun, moving trip through past memories for the many, like Ru and myself, who have been jonesing for its release on dvd. Most of the characters have now died, many from AIDS, but it is wonderful to know that their story lives on. The film is full of oneliners. Many of which were borrowed by RuPaul on the Supermodel record and by Madonna on Vogue. 10s, 10s, 10s, 10s across the board!