BlogPost: Paris Is Burning
Iagree with the movie analysis by Hook in chapter 9 of her book “BlackLooks: Race and representation.” In her analysis, she admonishesthe film for focusing more on the ball as opposed to helping theaudience to understand the reality of the gay, transgender, and dragqueens who are the subject of the movie. Hooks observes that the filmidentified the plight of the film subjects, but somehow managed toobscure them by covering the dramatic scenes from drag balls (Hook,154). This observation is justified by the way that the death ofVenus Extravaganza, who was a star of the film is handled. Thefilmmaker should have made more effort to make sure that the audiencecared about Venus’ death, and demand for action. Instead,Livingston did not focus on the moment at all. In so doing, the filmfailed to demand for equality of this marginalized population in oursociety.
Inmy opinion, her analysis would have been more complete if she hadacknowledged the key role that the dramatic scenes from drag ballplayed in making sure that the audience was interested in learningabout the drag subculture. Livingston’s fascination with ballroomsubculture is evident from the start. She uses this fascination toentertain the audience and keep them interested in the movie. Insuch, “Paris is Burning” takes up a position as a foundationaltext to guide the exploration of ballroom subculture and the plightof its participants. The film should not be analyzed as a completework on itself. Rather, the film should be considered as a veryinsightful work that introduces the audience to the plight of thetransgender, gay, and drag queens.
Hooks,Bell. Blacklooks: Race and representation.Boston, MA: South End Press, 2006. Print.
Parisis burning.Dir. Jennie Livingstone. Miramax Films, 1991. Film.
No related posts.