John Waters: This Filthy World
(Jeff Garlin, US, 2006) 86min
This article is from 2007.
The ‘Ayatollah of Crud’ speaks. Time was when John Waters used to stand for something. Alienation from the mainstream perhaps, a gothic outsiderness, suburban depravity. But now, with money coming in from the ludicrously successful stage (and screen) adaptations of his best known films, Waters’ radical aura seems slightly tainted.
As if by way of redress, this whippet thin, camp wit and filmmaker now appears before us solo in what is hoped to be an ideology-defining vaudeville act. Entering the stage via a confessional, Waters tells stories and enlightens a filmed audience to his philosophy (many of these anecdotes can also be found in his excellent autobiography Shock Value) and invokes the spirits of the Kuchar brothers, Warhol, Manson and Jayne Mansfield among others.
Directed and shot with a welcome simplicity by Jeff Garlin (who plays Larry David’s agent friend Jeff in Curb Your Enthusiam), it’s difficult to see the point of all this. Surely the work is the thing? I’d rather see Waters channelled through blue collar grotesques in Pink Flamingos or elephantine transsexuals in Female Trouble any day of the week.
Waters will be in attendance at this screening.
Cineworld, 623 8030, 16 Aug, 8.30, £10.50 (£7.35).