John Waters

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Tab Hunter: Confidential Trailer


Tab Hunter was America's Boy Next Door in the 1950s, attracting a large female following who were captivated by his good looks and charm. As his career went from strength to strength it seemed nothing could stop him, unless of course the secret about his sexuality got out. In Tab Hunter Confidential we will meet, for the first time the real Tab Hunter as he shares his true story about being a gay actor in Hollywood back when it would have ended your career and maybe even landed you in jail. From starring in films opposite Natalie Wood in the 1950s to kissing Divine in John Water's Polyester in the 1980s, Tab Hunter has had a rollercoaster ride like no other in Hollywood and now he's happy, healthy and ready to tell his tale of success and survival.

Continue: Tab Hunter: Confidential Trailer

2015 Vineyard Theatre Gala - Arrivals

Margo Lion and John Waters - The 2015 Vineyard Theatre Gala at the Edison Hotel Ballroom - Arrivals. at Edison Hotel Ballroom, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 30th March 2015

John Waters
John Waters
John Waters

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards arrivals

John Waters - A variety of stars from the music industry all turned out in style to attend the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 9th February 2015

John Waters

The Sixth Annual Norman Mailer Center And Writers Colony Benefit Gala

John Waters - The Sixth Annual Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony Benefit Gala at the New York Public Library - New York City, United States - Monday 27th October 2014

John Waters

I Am Divine Review


Excellent

With an appropriate explosion of humour and colour, this documentary traces the life of a fiercely individualistic actor, digging beneath the surface to explore both his origins and his legacy. And frankly, it's about time someone documented the iconic cross-dressing performer Divine, who died at age 42 in 1988, just as his career was leaping into the mainstream. The fact is that this man completely changed music, theatre and cinema.

Born in Baltimore, Glenn Milstead played dress-up as a child and was routinely beaten up in school. He could never pass as a normal kid, so he never tried. Fortunately, at 17 he met John Waters and found a group of people who were outcasts like him. Waters renamed him Divine for his film Roman Candles, and the name stuck. Divine spent time in San Francisco developing the character while performing with the legendary Cockettes, then took the New York stage by storm and launched an international recording career., He also continued to rise in the ranks of cinema actors with performances in Waters' classics Pink Flamingoes, Female Trouble, Polyester and the award-winning Hairspray, which crossed-over into mainstream success and led to a non-drag role as Uncle Otto in the hit TV sitcom Married... With Children. He died of heart failure in his sleep the night before taping his first episode.

Filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz (whose previous film Vito documented the life of gay-rights activist Vito Russo) gives the movie a lively pace, as a wide range of colourful people talk about their experiences with Divine through the years, including his mother Frances Milstead who reunited with her son later in life. There's also extensive footage of Divine talking about himself in interviews he gave around the world throughout his career. Combined with extensive clips, backstage video and personal photographs, the film is a remarkably complex portrait of a talented artist who was excessive in everything: food, drugs and love. But he was also fiercely disciplined when it came to his work.

Continue reading: I Am Divine Review

Video - Zoey Deutch Wears Dazzling Blue At The 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards - Part 4


'Beautiful Creatures' star Zoey Deutch was among the star arrivals at the 2014 CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Fashion Awards held at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. She wore a stunning multi tone, blue, A-line minidress with strappy black stilettos.

Continue: Video - Zoey Deutch Wears Dazzling Blue At The 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards - Part 4

2014 CFDA Fashion Awards

John Waters - 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards held at Alice Tully Hall - Arrivals - New York, New York, United States - Monday 2nd June 2014

John Waters

2014 CFDA Fashion Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals

John Waters - 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals - Manhattan, New York, United States - Tuesday 3rd June 2014

John Waters

Excision Review


Good

There's an element of parody to this jet-black comedy, but the film is so creepy that it gets under our skin. And even if it feels a bit ridiculous, the story challenges us with an exploration of bullying and social pressure that's deeply unsettling. All while writer-director Bates gleefully keeps us off-balance with a shifting mix of broad comedy and growing horror.

It's also a deranged coming-of-age tale about Pauline (McCord), a teen outcast who delusionally believes that she is destined to be a great surgeon. This is mainly because she wants to cure her sister Grace (Winter) of cystic fibrosis. So she teaches herself surgical skills by piercing her nose, among other things. She also propositions a hot classmate (Sumpter) about losing her virginity, partly because this is in her master plan and partly to annoy his mean-girl girlfriend (McCook), and he doesn't refuse. Meanwhile, her mother (Lords) makes it clear that she doesn't like Pauline, treating her husband (Bart) like dirt while doting on Grace.

The film's opening scenes are like a Todd Solondz movie, with grotesque characters saying staggeringly rude things to each other. And as events unfold, each person develops some complexity that makes them intriguing. It also helps that scenes are packed with lively side characters played by starry veterans. McDowell, Matlin and Wise play school employees who are baffled by Pauline's refusal to toe the line. And Waters is dryly hilarious as the sardonic priest Pauline is forced to see for counselling. 

Continue reading: Excision Review

Video - CFDA President Diane Von Furstenberg Attends 2012 Fashion Awards Part 1


Ballroom dancer Julianne Hough, fashion designer and CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg, actress Busy Philipps and filmmaker John Waters were among arrivals at the 2012 Cfda Fashion Awards at the Alice Tully Hall.

In the event's 50th anniversary, the Council of Fashion Designers of America honoured the acting twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Womenswear Designer of the Year for their clothing line The Row as well as Billy Reid for Menswear Designer of the Year and Jessica Pare for Accessory Designer of the Year

Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea Review


Excellent
To say the Salton Sea is obscure is an understatement. My wife was born and raised in San Diego, two hours from the Salton Sea and had never even heard of it.

The Salton Sea is a complicated ecological mess that most Californians would prefer to forget about. This enchanting documentary tells the full story of the place. It begins thanks to pioneering, turn-of-the-1900s entrepreneurs who diverted the Colorado River into the SoCal desert, filling in a giant lake. Soon it's the "other" Palm Springs, with legendarily good fishing, and plenty of resort activities like swimming, skiing, and getting drunk. But the water was sustained in the Sea by runoff from nearby farms, which led to the salinity increasing out of control. The lake became so salty (saltier than the ocean) that it could kill fish, which led to an incredible stench, dead birds, botulism, and the utter collapse of the area's economy. It didn't help that flooding put most of the coastal buildings and streets underwater, permanently.

Continue reading: Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea Review

Hairspray (1988) Review


Good
Some 34 years after the Supreme Court ended segregation, John Waters made Hairspray, probably his most wholesome film ever (it's rated PG), to relive his Baltimore youth among the regulars of his local American Bandstand-esque dance show. Hairspray's The Corny Collins Show was indeed based on a real Baltimore show called The Buddy Deane Show, and Waters' skewering of the young Elvises and their high-hair girls is dead-on.

Set in 1963, Baltimore was still fighting integration by refusing to let black youths participate in shows like these. The minority finds an unlikely champion, though, in Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) an enormous girl who only wants to dance! As the pretty kids push against the rising popularity of the fat girl, a convenient analogue to racial discrimination develops.

Continue reading: Hairspray (1988) Review

This Film Is Not Yet Rated Review


Weak
When South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker made Orgazmo, a romp about a Mormon porn star, and submitted it to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for a rating, it came back NC-17. The filmmakers asked what they could do to get it down to an R, and they were told, brusquely, nothing. Years later they made Team America: World Police, which included a four-minute puppet-sex scene (including many shots they had no intention of using, just so they'd have something to cut out) that pushed them into forbidden territory. This time, however, they were provided scene-specific notes on how to make the film into an R. The difference? Orgazmo was an indie release, while Team America came from Paramount Studios. The message of this story, as relayed by Stone in the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated, is fairly simple: The MPAA is less a responsible watchdog organization keeping the country safe from sexually explicit material than it is a corrupt industry tool, keeping the fig leaf of respectability not so firmly in place.

The MPAA was a lobbying organization that first implemented its voluntary ratings system in 1968 under the auspices of Jack Valenti, a Washington insider and LBJ confidant determined to defend Hollywood from the possibility of government regulation. Valenti argued it was better for film studios to police themselves so as to avoid having political prudes come down with a modernized Hays Code. So filmmakers must present their films to the MPAA's classifications panel (whose identities are never disclosed and are only described on the MPAA's website as "a board of parents") and then, if they don't have enough industry clout or the ability/desire to cut and resubmit their film for another pass, have to live with whatever rating is passed down. As This Film points out time and again, given that NC-17 films are shown by almost no theaters and often not carried by video rental chains, it's a system where de facto censorship is carried out by a secret nongovernmental body that seems to have a real problem with sex.

Continue reading: This Film Is Not Yet Rated Review

This Film Is Not Yet Rated Review


Weak
When South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker made Orgazmo, a romp about a Mormon porn star, and submitted it to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for a rating, it came back NC-17. The filmmakers asked what they could do to get it down to an R, and they were told, brusquely, nothing. Years later they made Team America: World Police, which included a four-minute puppet-sex scene (including many shots they had no intention of using, just so they'd have something to cut out) that pushed them into forbidden territory. This time, however, they were provided scene-specific notes on how to make the film into an R. The difference? Orgazmo was an indie release, while Team America came from Paramount Studios. The message of this story, as relayed by Stone in the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated, is fairly simple: The MPAA is less a responsible watchdog organization keeping the country safe from sexually explicit material than it is a corrupt industry tool, keeping the fig leaf of respectability not so firmly in place.

The MPAA was a lobbying organization that first implemented its voluntary ratings system in 1968 under the auspices of Jack Valenti, a Washington insider and LBJ confidant determined to defend Hollywood from the possibility of government regulation. Valenti argued it was better for film studios to police themselves so as to avoid having political prudes come down with a modernized Hays Code. So filmmakers must present their films to the MPAA's classifications panel (whose identities are never disclosed and are only described on the MPAA's website as "a board of parents") and then, if they don't have enough industry clout or the ability/desire to cut and resubmit their film for another pass, have to live with whatever rating is passed down. As This Film points out time and again, given that NC-17 films are shown by almost no theaters and often not carried by video rental chains, it's a system where de facto censorship is carried out by a secret nongovernmental body that seems to have a real problem with sex.

Continue reading: This Film Is Not Yet Rated Review

A Dirty Shame Review


Excellent
Ultra-trashy provocateur John Waters returns to crude, campy form with A Dirty Shame, a risqué, ribald NC-17 sex-a-thon that finds the iconoclastic director reveling in his most beloved vices. The story of a frigid housewife who, because of an accidental head injury, becomes indoctrinated into a gang of raging sex addicts, Waters' ultra-vulgar comedy about fornicating buffoons and boobs is both a sarcastic rebuke to the traditional notion of "family values" and a heartfelt paean to Baltimore's freakish misfit population. Barely resembling the director's exasperatingly toothless Pecker and half-baked Cecil B. DeMented, the film - a delirious explosion of genitalia jokiness and raunchy social satire that's coated in an incongruous sheen of '50s-era movie mannerisms - is as nasty as it wants to be.

Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) is a grumpy, prudish convenience store employee who can't stand her husband Vaughn's (Chris Isaak) sexual advances and is ashamed of her stripper daughter Caprice's (Selma Blair) insanely enormous fake breasts, which the young harlot willingly displays (at least, before being put under house arrest for indecent exposure) down at the local biker bar under the stage name "Ursula Udders." Sylvia is disgusted by the rampant public displays of affection infecting her quiet town, yet after suffering a concussion, a strapping mechanic named Ray-Ray (Johnny Knoxville) does some voodoo on her libido, transforming Sylvia into an unhinged sex-aholic destined - as the Christ-like Ray-Ray preaches to his choir of fetishistic cohorts - to discover a truly unique new sexual act. With the rallying cry "Let's Go Sexin'!", Sylvia and Ray-Ray orchestrate a debauched sexual revolution against the square "Neuters" who - led by Sylvia's mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd) and Marge the Neuter (Waters regular Mink Stole) - have organized a counter-coalition of the "moral," and Waters, through the sheer abundance of explicit material on display, goes for the jugular (or somewhere slightly lower) in his attempt to appall and offend.

Continue reading: A Dirty Shame Review

John Waters

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