This month’s movie is “Paris is Burning” – A classic documentary released back in 1990 that gives an unadulterated look into the ball scene in NYC in the mid to late 80’s.
This is the first “gay” documentary/movie I saw that had a majority black cast and was very intrigued. The second one was Tongues Untied released back in 1991. (I’ll talk about that movie in July). I’ve never really been into the ball scene and have yet to go one (even though i would like to check one out soon). The “Sex Siren” category is my favorite. 🙂
It’s worth noting that out of the eight primary stars of Paris Is Burning, only two remain alive (Freddie Pendavis and Paris Dupree). Octavia is the sixth to recently pass away, following Venus Xtravaganza, Anji Xtravaganza, Dorian Corey, Pepper Labeija, and Willi Ninja.
Below is a clip from the documentary.
Exactly 50 years ago today Imitation of Life, the legendary film about racial identity, was released in theatres nationwide. The film was adapted from Fannie Hurst’s novel and a remake from the 1934 original.
Imitation of Life told the story of Sarah Jane, a light-skinned Black girl (both of her parents were Black), who could pass for White, played by Susan Kohner. She dealt with extreme emotional turmoil, eventually rejecting her mother, played by Juanita Moore. The film also starred Hollywood legends Lana Turner and Sandra Dee.
In the 1934 original Sarah Jane was played by a light-skinned Black actresses named Fredi Washington. In 1959, the Sarah Jane character was Susan Kohner, who happened to be Mexican and Jewish. Both actresses in the 1954 version, Kohner and Moore, received Oscar nods for best supporting actress and Kohner won the Golden Globe.
Imitation of Life was a huge success for its time, racking in $6.4 million dollars and being the ninth most successful film in n 1959. Furthermore, the film’s handling of race and the “tragic mulatto” character is a slice of history for its era.
There have been talks for years about an Imitation of Life remake, but no word on who or when.
The most memorable scene from the movie was Annie dying and the iconic Mahalia Jackson singing at her funeral. I love me some Mahalia Jackson. She will get you back to Jesus in a minute!
Get into the clip of Mahalia Jackson singing here!
This is movie is a must in every gay/bi men of color’s DVD collection.
I loved the iconic show “Noah’s Arc” and making it into a movie was the least LOGO could do after being totally stupid in cancelling the show after 2 seasons.
I’m a big proponent of gay marriage and this movie was right on time with 4 states (and hopefully more) that will acknowledge gay or same sex marriage.
I highly suggest this movie especially for those who didn’t get a chance to see it in theaters.
For those who did see it, I would like to know what was your favorite scene and why!
You can buy it at your local gay store or online at: here