Paris is Burning

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We are happy to announce the Clinton St. Resistance series is back! Here's how it works:

  • On select Mondays we offer discounted admission to films in the hope that as many people as possible will attend.
  • Proceeds after licensing costs from these screenings will be totaled at the end of the month and donated to a non-profit or community organization which we believe is doing good work in Portland and beyond.

That's it! You get to watch a great film for cheap and get an easy way to support an awesome organization that is supporting our community.

In June, we've selected the non-profit Black & Pink—a prison abolitionist organization dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system and liberating LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing.

In July, we've selected Sisters of the Road—a nonprofit Cafe in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood working to create systemic change that will end poverty and homelessness by providing nourishing meals in a safe, dignified space.

Paris is Burning

Showtimes

"There is a lot of common sense and natural wit behind the role-playing. Yet there is also a terrible sadness in the testimony." -Vincent Canby, New York Times

"It is strong, sardonically funny, sometimes shattering stuff." -Christine Dolen, Miami Herald

"If the wit, glamour and mind-boggling outfits of Paris Is Burning are disarming, not far beneath the film's surface is an immensely moving quality." -Louise Gray, Sight & Sound

Jennie Livingston’s landmark film is not without its share of controversy as many of the participants felt exploited. The documentary of the ballroom scene elevated the culture to a wider audience, but ultimately contributed to its appropriation and eventual mainstream slang and style. Though the TV series Pose explores some of the tragedies through characters, it's important to remember that modern drag would not exist without the very real Black and Hispanic transwomen who pioneered the space, far too many of whom died far too soon due to poverty and violence. Pride is about celebrating how far we've come, but also remembering those who risked everything to make progress possible.

Paris is Burning
Director: 
Jennie Livingston
Country: 
USA
Year: 
1990
Runtime: 
76 minutes

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 and 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.

Digitally remastered by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in conjunction with Sundance Institute and Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Preservation funded by Sundance Institute, Outfest and the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation.

Special Admission

$6 tickets available in advance online and at the door.

*Part of our June Clinton St. Resistance Series with proceeds benefiting Black & Pink.*