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Paris is Burning

 R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2011
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051HCUQY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,882 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

All Amazon shipping promotions apply - Brand new and sealed DVD - In stock now and ready to ship. This title is now out of print.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defiance and Pathos March 20, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
In the beginning of this film, one of the commentators says that he was told that he has two strikes against him: he is black and male. But in addition to that, he has a third strike: he's gay. "You're going to have to be stronger than you ever imagined," he is told. "Paris is Burning" is a documentary about gay black and Hispanic men who are tranvestites (men who dress in women's clothing) or transsexuals (people who have The Operation and become, biologically, the opposite sex). They come together and hold "balls" in which they compete in categories like "Executive Realness," "Opulence," and "the Boy Who Robbed You a Few Minutes before Arriving at the Ball." Although several of these categories seem like a satire of society at large, we are told by elder stateswoman/cynic/voice of reason Dorian Corey that "this isn't a parody or take-off. They are very seriously trying to pass as what they are dressing up as." The miracle of "Paris is Burning" is that director Jennie Livingston takes a subject that could have very easily become a freak show and allows the people in it their humanity. We learn their views of homosexuality, men, women, their hopes, their disappointments, their dreams. [...]
This is not a film for everyone. There are shots in this movie of nude transsexuals. It is definitely not for children, and if you have a problem with homosexuality, then this movie isn't for you, either. But if you do see this movie you'll realize "Paris is Burning" isn't really about men wearing women's clothes, it's about a group of people who are routinely marginalized and put down by society at large, and what they do to get a sense of community in their lives.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant time capsule November 29, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's hard to believe that the goings on in Paris Is Burning is almost 20 years old. I saw it in a Midtown Atlanta theater in 1992, and was just blown away by it. The whole notion that people scrabble for a bare existence 99% of their time so they can shine for 1% sounds cute or depressing or trite, depending on your current level of treacle versus cynicism... But once you see people honest to God living that way, that patronizing distance is gone. A really good film. Really, really good.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANY SHOPLIFTER CAN GET A LABEL... October 28, 2005
I first saw this movie in 1991 during my first week at Hampshire College at some theater in Northampton Massachussetts. I was about 17 and had just come out as a latino gay male. I cannot begin to tell you how this movie impacted my life. Paris is Burning has given be comic material and one-liners for well over a decade. Regardless of class, race, or gender, my circle of friends can recite at least one brilliant line from the movie. The DVD has new outtakes and some choice commentary by the very wise and articulate Dorian Corey. Dorian discusses the lack of imagination that exists among today's youth as a result of their reliance on popular media for entertainment. Furthermore, the "ball scene" is a parody of the social paradigm, where roles are played and an outfit, designer label, or the ability to "pass", brings the marginalized individual one step closer to the "American Dream", if only for that fleeting moment on the ballroom floor. "At one time or another we have all lusted to walk a ballroom floor".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, alive and well April 10, 2004
By J
Format:VHS Tape
Reading many of the reviews I'm saddened to see that most people today don't know that the House scene, still is, alive and very well. The Los Angeles House scene, yes modeled from that of the NY scene, is 11 houses and strong, with many fierce, and fabulous balls to brag about baby. Although most of the categories have been modified and simplified with a lil' L.A. flava our balls hold true to where we first began.
Many of the House family members display their voguing in the L.A. hip hop club scene. However our style of voguing has changed slightly, we 'chop', 'sha-blam', and 'shut 'em down' with ol' school/new school flava. Enjoying our unity as a community, a family, and as a people. See you at the next ball.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You wanna talk about reading... October 11, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I LOVE this movie and have had the VHS for years.

I can't believe the tape hasn't broke yet from viewing

it so much. I am SO GLAD to finally see that it's on DVD

and I can buy another copy!

Pepper LaBeija - Pepper LaBeija :-) Ives St. Laurent of course!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HUMANISTIC VIEW OF AN OFTEN UNSEEN WORLD March 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Excellent documentary showing how young, gay, poor, urban, black and Latino kids desperately want to fit in somewhere. The balls are vehicles for these kids to pretend that they are not outsiders. View it with an open mind and you'll be moved.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Item Worthy of the Time Capsule October 17, 2005
I remember seeing this movie when it first came out in the early nineties. To a (much younger) black gay man at the time it was a hugely significant piece of work. Looking at it more than ten years later now, I feel it's just as significant if only in a historical context. If any black gay man no matter where he lives in the world, wants to get a taste of what life was like for many of his peers back then in New York City, then this is a must. I was there (albeit very briefly) and I can't think of a more accurate snapshot. This one should definitely go into the time capsule!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
awesome movie its really good
Published 3 days ago by Antwan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Move that Captures a Lost Moment of Wonderful People
This is a moving documentary about the underground vogues and houses in the 80's. Mimicked or mocked in the past and even now, one must admire these fearless souls trapped in a... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Photonsnow
1.0 out of 5 stars Wish I hadn't bothered with it.
I felt this was an insult to what being a woman really is and was deeply depressed by their shallow renditions. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Spiraling Blue Fire
1.0 out of 5 stars I Bought It Because My Wife Told Me to
I wouldn't watch it, because the topic, acting, and whatever is not my style. However, word, word, word, etc., etc. Frankly, I want to know the least I can about this film. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars great product. love it. just what I needed. couldn't ask for better....
great product. love it. just what I needed. couldn't ask for better. worth every penny. best of the best. perfect.
Published 3 months ago by Jeffrey Korn
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it!
Good movie, would defiantly see again and again. Gives a great inside look at what most people have never heard of.
Published 6 months ago by julia
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching but with some skepticism
The film gave one a view of the black and latino transgender and gay culture of Greenwich Village in the late 1980s. However, it was one view. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Louise Milone
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live PARI-SSSSS!
Such a well-documented story. These artistic and talented individuals paved the way for the new generation. I enjoyed watching it.
Published 8 months ago by Jonathan Montes
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!!
I can't believe I just heard about this movie. When I did I ordered it and it came right away. Love it. The movie really depicts what NYC gay drag in the 80's.
Published 10 months ago by Loni
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous. Legendary.
"Paris is Burning" is a closeup of festive "balls" thrown by and for the gay and transgender community of 1980's New York City. Read more
Published 10 months ago by LeeHoFooks
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