Paris Is Burning - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Paris Is Burning Reviews

May 19, 2020
Half sad, half exuberant.
May 19, 2020
The earnestness of the competition is what holds this film together.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 19, 2020
There is a lot of common sense and natural wit behind the role-playing. Yet there is also a terrible sadness in the testimony.
May 19, 2020
[The film intercuts] ball scenes with interviews with the participants in less hectic, more reflective moments. It is those personal, humanizing moments, much more than the hectic, eye-catching hubbub of performance, that truly linger in the mind.
May 19, 2020
If all you know about Voguing comes from Madonna, this spirited and heartbreaking documentary from first-time filmmaker Jennie Livingston will be an eyeopener.
May 18, 2020
The film is a comprehensive, if dated, tour through a subculture which, thanks to the ministrations of Madonna, has long since passed into the semi- mainstream.
May 18, 2020
A rough-edged, talking- heads documentary, directed with skill if not polish by Jennie Livingston, that has found a topic almost unbelievably rich in cultural paradoxes and interpretive possibilities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 18, 2020
Wildly entertaining, deeply humanitarian and fundamentally educational.
October 1, 2019
The way that [director Jennie Livingstone] looks at the subculture and just lets them tell their own stories is just so wonderful.
August 2, 2019
Truly remarkable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 31, 2016
One emerges from this film not only with a new vocabulary and a fresh way of viewing the straight world but with a bracing object lesson in understanding what society "role models" are all about.
January 9, 2007
A poignant, heartfelt tribute to a vibrant New York subculture and its flamboyant acolytes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 6, 2007
[Paris Is Burning] was much admired when it came out in 1990. It holds up moderately for re-release now.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
June 24, 2006
A fascinating portrait of a complex, materially disadvantaged subculture structured around intensely competitive aesthetic displays later plundered for a Madonna video.
January 1, 2000
What I saw was a successful attempt by the outsiders to dramatize how success and status in the world often depend on props you can buy, or steal, almost anywhere -- assuming you have the style to know how to use them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 1, 2000
For the people in Paris Is Burning, dreaming is a refuge, their true home. Livingston's movie is a map of their private geography, a moving topography of dreams.
January 1, 2000
[A] touching and funny eye-opener of a documentary.
January 1, 1990
Jennie Livingston's [film is] witty and profound documentary about the rituals of the new urban drag-queen subculture.
Full Review | Original Score: A