Discussion with the filmmaker
The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2
*Paris Is Burning*. 1991. USA. Directed by Jennie Livingston. Courtesy of Off White Productions/Photofest. © Off White Productions

Paris Is Burning. 1991. USA. Directed by Jennie Livingston. 78 min.

The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Livingston’s documentary affectionately throws light on “the balls,” underground dance and costume extravaganzas that were a major part of New York City's gay and drag communities. Long before Ru Paul’s Drag Race and Madonna’s hit song “Vogue,” gay men were premiering elaborate costumes in hidden clubs, incorporating runway strut and portrait framing into the dance known as voguing. Despite their underground beginnings, voguers soon went from mimicking sartorial tropes to setting fashion trends.

This film accompanies Fashion Forward Documentaries.