“Opulence! You. Own. Everything!” 9 Reasons Why We Still Can’t Get Enough Of “Paris Is Burning”

June 11, 2014 ‐ By


It’s funny the things that Netflix can bring into your life. A documentary lover and ’90s movie buff, Netflix actually recommended that I check out little documentary called Paris is Burning a few years ago, and after watching Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. for the umpteenth time, I decided to give this film a try. I have watched it about three more times since. Not only is it extraordinarily entertaining, it’s a landmark film for the lens it puts on ball culture, and the adversities people who participated in them dealt with. And we’re not just talking about being part of the LGBT community, but also being poor, and being black and Latino in New York City in the mid-to-late ’80s. But this isn’t a sad documentary, it’s more of a celebration of a culture and a very special time. In honor of LGBT Pride month, I wanted to show love to a documentary that is a must-see by discussing the 10 best things about it.

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  • honeybee808

    Yaaas! I actually love this documentary. A friend of mine told me about ‘balls’ and I had no clue that *this* was what he was talking about! Willie Ninja! Amazing! Even though I was just a kid, the 80s seemed like such a good (and bad) time to be in NYC.

  • Dee

    “look at this skin honey, touch all of this skin darling….you can’t take it….your just an overgrown orangutan!”….YAAAAAASSSSSS! LOL!!!!

  • dee

    OMG! I love love LOVE this movie. I remember being 14 in LA and my best friends mother took us to go see it with her and all I remember is being mesmerized by these people. I thought they were beautiful in spirit and I had NEVER seen anything like it. I was introduced to a world I didn’t know existed and to this day I believe it started me on my way to being able to truly accept people for who they are and not what society says they should be. To this day I watch the movie whenever it comes on. My favorite quote from the movie (there are many) is whey they are at the ball and the contestant walks the floor and GIVING LIFE and the announcer says “But why you gaggin’ though!” To me that meant this kid can come into this room and give you EVERYTHING, beauty, fashion and confidence, to the point that you are speechless! YESSSS! My favorite movie.

  • Larisha Thomas

    Yes! I love this documentary. It was suggested to me after watching Leave it on the Floor also a must see. I didnt blink while watching either film. I didnt want to miss a moment.

  • Tee Elyse

    I still watch this movie almost daily… it’s sad when you realize that everyone in the film has now since passed, most from AIDS related complications! But I learned how to READ watching this over and over! Only if I could’ve learned how to vogue as good as them, especially Willi Ninja!!!!!!

  • d1ckdame

    Ahh this takes me back to childhood. I had to wait yes years to actually watch this. Hell. I was sneaking tryna watch this movie when I was in high school. I still tell myself that I. Own. EVERYTHING!

  • Jay Gee

    I love love love PIB! Taneesha it’s on Netfilix right now! I might go home and watch it tonight

  • lockstress

    “I always had hopes of being a big star. But as you get older, you aim a little lower. Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you’ve made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you’ve left a mark. You don’t have to bend the whole world. I think it’s better to just enjoy it. Pay your dues, and just enjoy it. If you shoot a arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you”….RIP Miss Dorian!

    • Petty Levert

      She preached a word there didn’t she?

      • lockstress

        She sure did.

  • SuperTrooper1420

    This was a very good movie and I think it’s important to see. Ball culture is so different now than it was in the eighties and nineties. Some parts of the movie very dark but overall it’s a joyous kind of movie. As another poster said, it’s an experience!

  • Lady

    One of my favorite documentaries! O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E!!

  • Stefon

    Saw it 20 years ago. It was an experience!

  • Tracy

    I knew alot of those kids in PiB alot of them are gone to glory now….great documentry.

  • mono

    Man, this was the 80’s. I live for the butch bull dagger, drag queens, and pretty boy realness! The ballroom scene was a make believe fantasy world for many of these people that still lives on today.

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    I have to see this

    • james_from_cambridge

      You do need to! It’s sad, beautiful and uplifting all at the same time. It’s beauty and hope will get to you!

      By the way, Cinemax or Starz, one of those premium channels, are showing it on the regular. It’s also online.

    • lockstress

      Yes you do honey. When I tell you this here is FABULOUS!
      I used to sneak into the clubs back in the day with a gay friend and honey…when I first cast my eyes on these boys voguing….I damn near killed myself trying. lol…ah…so many memories.