JOHN WATERS, DIRECTOR AND POPE OF TRASH
As we celebrate different forms of punk filmmaking today, I’d like to celebrate the King of Filth, John Waters. He is surely one of my favorite directors, but also one of my favorite humans to ever grace this universe we call home. He has been a pivotal figure in queer and transgressive cinema since the 1960s and has garnered cult status because of it. He’s also HILARIOUS. Some of his films include: Mondo Trasho, Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Polyester, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. Demented (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE), and A Dirty Shame. Also his favorite film of all time is Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975). Go look it up, thank me later.
Another fantastic piece of news regarding Waters, his hard-to-find film Multiple Maniacs has been deemed fit for restoration by Janus Films who are responsible for The Criterion Collection! Hopefully we can see a blu-ray release chocked full of amazing extras in the near future.
Now I will leave you with some of the wonderful wisdom that has been uttered by this truly wonderful man:
“Get more out of life, see a fucked up movie.”
“Without obsession, life is nothing.”
“I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty.”
“I stopped taking drugs when I realized that pot smelled bad and LSD trips were becoming like TV reruns. I had had enough inner journeys — I felt I knew myself well enough, thank you.”
“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
“I’ve always said that in the film world you have to pretend eight million people are gonna love it and in the art world, if eight million people love it, it’s really BAD. So it’s the reverse aesthetic, in a way.”
“’How could you think of such awful things?’ liberal critics always ask. ‘How else could I possibly amuse myself?’ I always wonder.”
“To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about. If someone vomits while watching one of my films, it’s like getting a standing ovation. But one must remember that there is such a thing as good bad taste and bad bad taste.”
“Unfortunately I think that ‘The Golden Age of Trash’ is over. I think hardcore (porn) ruined it, and I think Hollywood co-opting violence ruined it. Because those were the two things that you really couldn’t have, and what was the staple of all drive-in movies was sex and violence. Now Hollywood makes them, so there’s no rules left to be broken.”
“My porn name, if you’re supposed to take your middle name and the name of the street you grew up on, would be Samuel Clark. That’s not a very good porn name.”
“Going to a sensational murder trial is the only way I can relax.”
“If you’re not sure you could love your children, please don’t have them, because they might grow up and kill us.”
“Maybe it’s time that we use humor for political actions. If there’s a local politician against gay marriage, let’s send scary drag queens to his house to yell fashion insults at his wife.”
“If you’re in Hollywood and you’ve taken a script to the studios and they say it’s too gay, well get your gay screenwriter friends and go back to the studio and yell out the grosses of all their hetero flops.”
“I’ve been called the Pope of Trash… I’ve been milking that title for years, and maybe that’s why I feel infallible.”
“I pride myself on the fact that my work has no socially redeeming value.”
We beg to differ Mr. Waters. We beg to differ.
—-Taylor Agajanian, Cinema Editor