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Paris Is Burning Selected for Preservation

“Paris Is Burning,” a 1990 film that explores the complex ballroom subculture among gay men, drag queens and transgender women in New York City was selected by the Library of Congress as one of the 25 films to be added this year to the National Film Registry.

In a 2015 article in The Guardian, Ashley Clark noted, “Few documentaries can claim to have sparked as much discussion and controversy as Jennie Livingston’s debut ‘Paris is Burning,’ the vibrant time capsule of New York’s ballroom subculture in the ‘80s.” The film explores the complex subculture of fashion shows and vogue dance competitions among black and Hispanic gay men, drag queens and transgender women in Manhattan. It shifts among ballroom contests and shows and interviews with contestants, who belong to different “houses” that are like families to them, sharing their views on wealth, notions of beauty, racism and gender orientation.

Under the National Film Preservation Act, movies are only eligible to be preserved under the registry if they are at least a decade old and recognized in the National Film Preservation Board’s view as ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

Full List of Films Selected for the 2016 National Film Registry

  1. Atomic Cafe (1982)
  2. Ball of Fire (1941)
  3. Beau Brummels, The (1928)
  4. Birds, The (1963)
  5. Blackboard Jungle (1955)
  6. Breakfast Club, The (1985) 
  7. Decline of Western Civilization, The (1981)
  8. East of Eden (1955)
  9. Funny Girl (1968)
  10. Life of an American Fireman (1903)
  11. Lion King, The (1994)
  12. Lost Horizon (1937)
  13. Musketeers of Pig Alley, The (1912)
  14. Paris Is Burning (1990)
  15. Point Blank (1967)
  16. Princess Bride, The (1987)
  17. Putney Swope (1969)
  18. Rushmore (1998)
  19. Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28)
  20. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
  21. Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)
  22. Thelma & Louise (1991)
  23. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)
  24. Walk in the Sun, A (1945)
  25. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

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