Paris is Burning (5/27)

Before gay marriage, before Ru Paul’s Drag Race, before “fierce” was a household term, were the drag balls, ecstatic underground gatherings of the largely non-white, gay and transgender working class community of New York City, as captured in this now iconic 1991 documentary. Enter the glittering boudoirs and fragile hearts of ball legends Pepper LaBeija, Venus Xtravaganza and Willi Ninja in this 25th anniversary UCLA restoration of the film, which captured the last days of the scene that inspired Madonna’s Vogue and Malcolm McLaren’s Deep in Vogue.
Dir. Jennie Livingston, 1990, DCP, 71 min.