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John Waters (filmmaker)

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Photo of John Waters by Robert Birnbaum

John Waters (born April 22, 1946) is an American filmmaker. He has long been known as a "bad boy" among filmmakers. John Waters is also a professor for cinema and subculture at the European Graduate School. Dubbed "the pope of trash" by writer William Burroughs, his earlier film works included Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living, sometimes referred to as the Trash Trilogy. These films pushed hard at the boundaries of conventional propriety and movie censorship and indeed, many felt, good taste. A particularly notorious segment of Pink Flamingos featured crossdressing actor Divine eating fresh dog feces.

Waters and Divine (then known as Glen Milstead) lived near Baltimore, Maryland as boys, a short distance apart, where they met and became friends. Mainly based in Baltimore, Waters tended to work with a regular team of actors (the Dreamlanders) who starred in most of his films, including Divine, Mink Stole, Cookie Mueller, Edith Massey, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, and others. His early films were among the first picked up for distribution by New Line Cinema, most recently famous for The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

His 1981 film Polyester starred Divine opposite once-teen-idol Tab Hunter. His films have become less controversial and more mainstream, although works such as Hairspray, Cry Baby and Serial Mom still retain his trademark inventiveness. The film Hairspray was turned into a hit Broadway musical, which swept the 2003 Tony Awards.

Waters most recent film, the NC-17 rated A Dirty Shame, was a move back towards his earlier, more controversial work.

Waters made most of his movies in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and is still praised by many natives of that city as a native son in later years.

Waters has also published collections of his writings including Shock Value (1981), Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters (1987, Revised Edition 2003), Trash Trio: Three Screenplays : Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Flamingos Forever (1988), Director's Cut (1997) and Art: A Sex Book (2003).

John Waters filmography

  • John Waters' life and work was analysed in the documentary homage Divine Trash (1998) by Steve Yeager, named after the actor Divine.

External links

fi:John Waters fr:John Waters (1) he:ג'ון ווטרס ja:ジョン・ウォーターズ

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