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John Waters Reflects on ‘Pink Flamingo’ and ‘Liarmouth’

Joyful 50th birthday, Pink Flamingos. Director John Waters, 76, is experiencing the once-surprising film’s newfound respectability — acceptance final year into the National Film Registry, along with Casablanca and Citizen Kane, and its new Criterion 4K restoration. And he’s also earning news for the launch of his recent novel, Liarmouth, and the “The Pope of Trash,” a important exhibition coming up coming 12 months to the new Academy Museum of Movement Photos in Los Angeles. In reality, Waters is reasonably stunned at trading notoriety for mainstream adoration at this stage in the video game.

The nattily dressed so-called Pope of Trash (aka Duke of Dirt and Prince of Puke) advised AARP all about it all through Massachusetts’ Provincetown Worldwide Movie Competition, which showcased the still shocking Pink Flamingos, a tale of murderous Baltimore mayhem starring the famous late drag queen Divine. His response to his “new respectability” is bemused, taking into consideration that “the film is possibly even worse than it is at any time been, in today’s criteria.”

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A movie that’s nevertheless subversive just after 50 years

​While it’s amazing to be thought of the elder statesman of filth, Waters is truly moved. “I’m greatly honored that all these things have took place with no irony. But the film itself — with all of today’s political correctness and everybody getting so sensitive about everything — is in all probability even more hideous than it ever was.” He’s been touring with the movie, in which the viewers is the youngest it is ever been, he suggests. He frequently asks: “How numerous men and women in this article are looking at it for the initially time?” Additional than fifty percent constantly raise their arms.

Divine stars in "Pink Flamingos.

Divine stars in “Pink Flamingos.”

Courtesy Everett Selection

​Waters finds this — and the reality that the movie even now performs to an audience — wonderful in a fantastic way. “Pink Flamingos wasn’t at any time intended to just shock. It was meant to make you shocked — and to make you snicker about it. And persons nonetheless do laugh.”

​Although it may perhaps sometimes come to feel that the film rose out of the 1970s pop cultural ooze, like Venus from her shell, the filmmaker claims he “was affected by art movies and, because they broke all the censorship rules, by Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman and all that. And by underground videos like those of Andy Warhol. I designed exploitation movies for art theaters. That’s what mine have been, and they however are.”