300 Great Directors: John Waters

“If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!”

Why This Director?
: See below.

My Last Experience Was…: His wonderful book, Carsick. (And the Hairspray…remake.)

What Did I Watch: Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble.

Where Does He Fit: When i think about the mad experience of watching one of the holiest of cult classics, Pink Flamingos, I think most carefully on the music. John Waters uses well known classics of the era about love and other silly things to capture up something much more extreme and grimy, something perfectly East Coast in the filthy times of the 70s with Divine proudly strutting her stuff with the rawest of raw meat in between her legs. What else would you expect from a film that’s most notorious for Divine eating doggie shit while How Much is That Doggie in the Window warbles away, or Surfing Bird becoming associated with both Family Guy and singing assholes. “Kill everyone now” is the sort of political belief, now matter how satirical, will never really go out of style, and the hills are alive with the sound of eggs, that thing that all women want more than anything in this filthy world.


Female Trouble may be operating in a similar mode to Pink Flamingos with the dreadful performances and constant transgressions for shock value, but that was merely a series of episodes in the lives of some filthy humans, whereas this is a life story that has just enough genuine satirical bite behind the incompetence on a whole lot of other fronts to make you wonder just how intentional this all is? It is hilarious and has something to say about the culture of the time that still feels pretty relevant today, but is the thesis genuinely stupid or simply pretending to be? Is Waters succeeding on his own goals or in what we genuinely desire? I’ll treasure both of these movies because I love a good debauched laugh, but this is the one that lingers.


Most Valuable Asset: He understands the difference between camp and kitsch.
Most Excited For: Hairspray/Multiple Maniacs

Coming Up Next: Paul Morrissey, Warhol man.


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