Director: Jennie Livingston
I remember seeing the trailer for Paris is Burning (1990) when we went to see Slacker at the River Oaks in Houston in summer of 1990. A straight white 15-year-old from the suburbs of Austin, recently transplanted to the suburbs of Houston, the world of gender-bending queer Black culture was - you will be shocked to learn - not on my radar. It was so utterly alien to my experience that I was wildly curious - but I also was not going to have a ride back down to the River Oaks and asking to be taken to such a movie would be wildly transgressive, no matter how open minded my mom was.
I remember seeking out the doc a few times in college and being unable to find it, but mostly I'd forget about it except when it was mentioned in cultural touchstone moments, like pretty much anything having to do with Madonna post Vogue. But by and large, I just forgot about trying to watch it until I saw Alicia Malone was hosting it on TCM as part of the style-centric "Follow the Thread" programming series, and I set the DVR.