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Peter saw his first movie when he was just a little boy, and has never gotten over that experience.

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Pariah's Dee Rees connects two generations of filmmakers in NYC

Posted June 28, 2011

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On Monday night, Pariah writer/director Dee Rees introduced Jennie Livingston's seminal 1991 documentary Paris is Burning as part of the Queer/Art/Film Series, a monthly series in New York in which LGBT artists choose and present a film that inspired them. For Rees, that film was Paris is Burning. As she explained in her introduction, growing up in Nashville, she didn't have much contact with LGBT cinema, especially work that dealt with people of color, so when she saw this documentary about New York's legendary house Balls, galas where gay and trans performers compete in various categories of "realness," she was blown away. After the film, Rees joined Livingston, along with the series' co-curators, filmmaker Ira Sachs (left) and Butt magazine editor Adam Bara (right), for a poignant discussion about how much has changed -- and not changed -- between the making of Livingston's Paris is Burning and Rees' upcoming Pariah. While both acknowleged that New York is still defined by the brutal realities of racism and real estate, one thing that had chagned is the emergence of a multi-generaional community of filmmakers and fans (as evidenced by the people gathered at the IFC Center last night). Just as Rees paid homage to Livingston, the older filmmaker urged the audience to see Pariah.