Clash of the Classics: Paris Is Burning vs. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

After compiling a list of the most essential LGBT movies, The Advocate is pitting the top 32 entries against one another in a series of one-on-one face-offs. In this round, the legendary documentary Paris Is Burning, which chronicles New York's ball culture in the 1980s, is up against The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the classic camp musical about "a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania." Which film is more essential? Vote below, and check out our full list of the top 175 most essential LGBT movies at


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Paris Is Burning, 1990 (3 seed)


This documentary shone a bright light on the African-American, Latino, and LGBT communities involved in the New York City ball culture of the mid-to-late 1980s. Directed by Jennie Livingston, Paris Is Burning brought an underground aspect of LGBT culture to the mainstream. From the use of slang (“serving realness”) to unforgettable quotes (“reading is fundamental”), the film has had a lasting impact on both LGBT and mainstream pop culture. —Jase Peeples


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The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975 (30 seed)

Nearly every slightly off-kilter high school student in America who rolls with the drama club crowd could say that this film was essential to their upbringing and their appreciation of sexual exploration, camp, and absurdity. This musical has so many things: a satire of ridiculous B-movies, fun with fishnets and heels, insane science fiction, artsy weirdness, and unabashed sexuality. And it's chock-full of very catchy, fun music. —Michelle Garcia


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Vote here on Facebook or Twitter by Sunday, June 29, and check in every day for more Clash of The Classics.






Tags: film, film

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