Damon Wise enters John Waters' weird and wonderful world | Film | The Guardian
Harris Glenn Milstead, better known by his stage name Divine (October 19, – March 7, Divine next starred in Waters' Pink Flamingos (), which proved a hit on the U.S. . parents after they try to break up her relationship with hippie boyfriend Jim, before consuming a large quantity of LSD and committing suicide. In the 35 years since Pink Flamingos made him a cult figure, Waters has enjoyed a promiscuous relationship with the mainstream. He most recently So to make a film where he would ride off on a turd at the end I was. John Waters fans may be looking forward to a complete retrospective of his “It might be the end of my movie career! Love & relationships . There was also the curiosity of having Pink Flamingos read by young children.
Alternate versions[ edit ] The 25th anniversary re-release version contains a re-recorded music soundtrack, re-mixed for stereo, plus 15 minutes of deleted scenes following the film, introduced by Waters. Certain excerpts of music used in the original, including Igor Stravinsky 's The Rite of Spring had to be removed and replaced in the re-release, since the music rights had never been cleared for the original release.
Inthe U. Canadian censors recently restored five of the seven scenes that were originally edited in that country.
Waters, John: Pink Flamingos–Cult Midnight Movie | Emanuel Levy
Hicksville in Long Island, New York banned the film altogether. Prints also exist that were censored by the Maryland Censor Board. The Sydney Underground Film Festival screened the film in Odorama for the first time, using scratch 'n' sniff cards similar to the ones used in Waters' later work Polyester. John Waters recast the film with children and rewrote the script to make it kid-friendly in a project, Kiddie Flamingos.
The minute video features children wearing wigs and costumes modeled on the originals and performing roles originated by Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and others. By this point, Babs has flaunted her obesity in a dozen colorful outfits which change from scene to scenedominated by red, white, and blue, all clinging tight to her skin, until she decides to change her appearance for a more modest one, when they relocated to Idaho why Idaho? The notorious ending depicts Babs, Crackers, and Cotton walking down the street in their new home in Boise, Idaho!
Babs spots a little dog with excitement and hunger, waiting for him to defecate. And when the canine does she throws herself to the ground and puts his fresh feces in her mouth.
- Waters, John: Pink Flamingos–Cult Midnight Movie
She proves, as the narrator John Waters states, that she is not only the filthiest person, but also the filthiest actress in the world. The only way I can change how anybody thinks is to make them laugh.
When they played in San Francisco where he lived for a while and in Provincetown, Waters himself promoted the screenings on Commercial Street, as he remembers: We would go out in costume and hand out all the flyers for two weeks. In the s, on Halloween night, youths could be spotted in the West Village, especially in the gay neighborhood of Christopher Street, imitating Divine and her cohorts.
The filth and the fury
Cherished by midnight moviegoers, it ran for years in New York and Los Angeles I saw the film Downtown as an undergraduate student at Columbia. The movie soon built a cult of viewers, some of whom attended just in order to be present in the company of the hip sets—gay men. After a while, the spectatorship broadened and the picture became popular with rowdy working-class kids from New Jersey. As expected, the movie divided critics: It was called an abomination by some and an instant classic by others.
Waters, just like Babs, was not about to take the back seat to anyone in the battle of filth and bad taste. Most mainstream critics did not know what to make of the film. Significantly, of the directors in the book, Waters and to a lesser extent Almodovar, are the only cult figures, due to repeated showings of their early works.
For Susan Sontag, the first scholar to define camp in her well-known essay, camp is a phenomenon of pure aestheticism, based on artifice and stylization. However, as the scholar David Van Leer pointed out, in de-depoliticizing camp, Sontag also de-homosexualized it. Minorities, be they racial black or Latin or sexual gay and lesbianoften speak between the lines, reshaping ironically and radically the dialogues that their oppressors had invented in order to keep them in their place.
Individuals and groups of minority status find new modes of speaking to which the oppressors, whoever they are, have limited or no access at all.
Sontag and her followers have claimed that self-knowing camp is usually less satisfying, because self-conscious and imitative camp is just regressive in its self-assertiveness.
Although not a major character in the film, Divine had been eager to play the part because he wished to perform in more male roles and leave behind the stereotype of simply being a female impersonator. Reviews of the film were mixed, as were the evaluations of Divine's performance. Set in Baltimore during the s, Hairspray revolved around self-proclaimed "pleasantly plump" teenager Tracy Turnblad as she pursues stardom as a dancer on a local television show and rallies against racial segregation.
As he had in Waters's earlier film Female Trouble, Divine took on two roles in the film, one of which was female and the other male. The first of these, Edna Turnblad, was Tracy's loving mother; Divine would later note that with this character he could not be accurately described as a drag queen, proclaiming "What drag queen would allow herself to look like this?
Divine (performer) - Wikipedia
I look like half the women from Baltimore. In one interview, Divine admitted that he had hoped to play both the role of mother and daughter in Hairspray, but that the producers had been "a bit leery" and chose Ricki Lake for the latter role instead.
After the screening, a party was held at the Baltimore Museum of Artwhere Frances Milstead granted an impromptu interview to the English film critic Jonathan Rossa friend and fan of Divine's. Appearing in only one scene within the film, he played the character of Detective Langella, a foulmouthed policeman investigating the murders of a killer clown.
Out of the Dark would be released the year after Divine's death.
Portraits of Divine were painted by several famous artists, including David Hockney and Andy Warholboth of whom were known for their works which dealt with popular culture. He was scheduled to film a guest appearance the following day as Uncle Otto on the Fox network 's television series Married Shortly before midnight, he died in his sleep, at age 42, of an enlarged heart. They contacted Thomas Noguchithe Chief Coroner for the County of Los Angeleswho arranged for removal of the body; Divine's friends were able to prevent the press from taking any photographs of the body as it was being carried out of the hotel.
The funeral took place at Prospect Hill Cemetery, where a crowd of hundreds had assembled to pay their respects. John Waters gave a speech and was one of the pallbearers who then carried the coffin to its final resting place, next to the grave of Divine's grandmother. Many flowers were left at the grave, including a wreath sent by actress Whoopi Goldbergwhich bore the remark "See what happens when you get good reviews.
All line up outside the dressing room and I'll be here till Christmas! In this role, he was described by his manager Bernard Jay, as displaying "Trash.
According to Divine's manager Bernard Jay, this was not because Divine himself was gay, but because the gay community "openly and proudly identified with the determination of the female character Divine". At one performance in London's Hippodrome coinciding with American Independence DayDivine rose up from the floor on a hydraulic lift, draped in the American flag, and declared: Drag is my work clothes.
I only put it on when someone pays me to",  a view he echoed to his friends. Glenn is the name I was brought up with, Divine is the name I've been using for the past 23 years. I guess it's always Glenn and it's always Divine. Do you mean the character Divine or the person Divine?
You see, it gets very complicated. There's the Divine you're talking to now and there's the character Divine, which is just something I do to make a living. She doesn't really exist at all. On numerous occasions he would have his photograph taken with them and sometimes use these images for record covers and posters.
In what has become a tradition, fans have been known to leave makeup, food, and graffiti on his grave in memoriam; Waters claims that some fans have sexual intercourse on his grave, which he believes Divine would love.
During the mids, the androgynous performer Sylvester decorated the powder room of his San Francisco home with Divine memorabilia. The song, titled "Divine," was an ode to the actor, who was one of Anohni's lifelong heroes.