Kiki Screen 89 of 9 reviews

Kiki

2016

Kiki Poster
  • There is no voiceover narration, and intertitles are used sparingly. Kiki demands that its audience pay attention and listen to its seven main interlocutors... Jordenö, in a recurring motif, honors the kiki denizens the most when she captures them motionless, staring directly into the camera, regal and indefatigable.

  • Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garçon’s Paris is Burning for the millennial set lives up to its hype and then some. An artistic and thought-provoking portrait of the “Kiki” scene (as NYC’s youth ball culture is called), the film is a standout for its careful balance between the thrill of vogue and the struggles of its urban characters of color.

  • Directed by Swedish visual artist/filmmaker Sara Jordenö (who splits her life between New York City and Goteborg), Kiki, the most exhilarating documentary I saw at Sundance, was created in collaboration with Twiggy Pucci Garçon (credited as co-screenwriter), the founder of the Haus of Pucci.

  • A lively and timely documentary broaching New York’s voguing scene is clearly indebted to Jennie Livingston’s groundbreaking Paris is Burning (1991).

  • A contact high of a documentary about New York vogueing that revisits the ballroom scene made famous by Jennie Livingston’s “Paris Is Burning,” which won the grand jury prize at Sundance in 1991. Directed by Sara Jordeno, “Kiki” fluidly combines interviews with on-the-street and dance-floor scenes to create an exhilarating, multifaceted portrait of ballroom participants, a number of whom are L.G.B.T. activists.

  • Bursting with the pulse of the emphatic, high-energy dance scene that it documents, Kiki is also alive with the attitudes of the bold, outspoken people of color it profiles. The bright and competitive dance contests are contrasted with the sometimes painful and challenging personal environments that the film’s subjects are struggling to navigate

  • One thing "Kiki" does really well is show how these dance competitions are an organizational structure for kids who might otherwise slip through the cracks... "Kiki," with all its rough glamour and rambunctious dancing, is a political film. These kids live it.

  • Ms. Jordeno chronicled her tight-knit group for several years, and was able to document two of her subjects, Gia Marie Love and Izana Vidal, at various stages of their transitioning to women. These are tough but tenderhearted young people who speak frankly about their various challenges, including the lure of sex work — relatively easy money in a world that still doesn’t much like seeing trans people working “straight” jobs.

  • Jordenö and Garçon embrace a conventional cinematic approach, one in line with that of Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan's recent documentary about Madonna's former backup dancers, Strike a Pose. Kiki's camera is consciously propped up for its confessional scenes, when it feels as if it should be in sync with the free-floating energy of its subjects.

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