Guest Selects: Jennie Livingston

The NYJFF features an annual “Guest Selects” series. This year Jennie Livingston, director of the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning, is our special guest curator. Paris Is Burning – 25th Anniversary Screening
Jennie Livingston | U.S. | 1990 | 71m | English

Jennie Livingston’s iconic documentary offers an at once dazzling, dynamic, and intimate portrait of the Harlem drag balls of the 1980s, where rival fashion “houses” competed for trophies and cash prizes in categories like “face,”  “femme queen realness” and “voguing.” Winner of a Sundance Grand Jury Prize, Paris is Burning celebrates how African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender New Yorkers, for whom racism, poverty, and homophobia were daily struggles, created a world of sustenance and joy.

Jennie Livingston Selects: Sophie’s Choice
Alan J. Pakula | U.K./U.S. | 1982 | 151m | English, Polish, German, French and Russian with English subtitles

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie’s narrator, a young American writer fresh to New York City. But Sophie and Nathan’s happiness is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions. With stellar performances by Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, Sophie’s Choice won five Academy Awards in 1982, including Best Actress.

Jennie Livingston Selects: Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Stanley Kubrick | U.S./U.K. | 1964 | 95m | English and Russian

Producer/director Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant satire is a provocative black comedy that remains unmatched as a doomsday fantasy of Cold War politics. Built around an inadvertent pre-emptive nuclear attack and featuring a never-funnier turns by Peter Sellers, James Earl Jones, George C. Scott, and the unstoppable Slim Pickens, this landmark film was an intelligent, biting, and unhinged Monty Python-esque response to the apocalyptic fears of the 1960s.