John Waters: “I never called myself an artist, history will judge that”


The director of the transgressive ‘Pink Flamingos’ sponsors the Rizoma festival where he will present his monologue ‘Falso negative’ tonight

At the age of 76, faithful to the sharp mustache, John Waters maintains that villainous face and transgressive spirit that elevated him in the 1970s to the king of bad taste and the father of trash cinema (garbage), thanks to movies , today of cult , such as ‘Pink Flamingos’ (1972). The filmmaker this afternoon sponsored Rizoma, the Interlaced International Film & Culture Festival, which is now held in Madrid. Not in vain, he will participate tonight in the competition where he will present his monologue ‘False negative’, in which he talked about «fashion, covid, crimes, sex, movies… Everything except sports. Well, sports too, because I made an announcement recently,” he said, laughing at the journalists gathered at the festival’s debut.

Close and funny, the Baltimore one said that of all his filmography his favorite is “The Mommy Murders” (1994), that comedy in which a Kathleen Turner was seen trying to fulfill her family obligations as she committed a wave of crimes, and talked about his career and how an industry has evolved in which the filmmaker has gone from the ‘underground’ to the ‘mainstream’ with titles like ‘Hairspray’ (1988), ‘Cry Baby (El lágrima)’ (1990) -he didn’t want to talk about the trial of his “friend” Johnny Depp, although he did make a wish: “I hope they come out and say we’re back together and we’re going to sue all of you who used our images for days,” he joked -, ‘Pecker’ (1998) or ‘Cecil B. Demented’ (2000). “I’ve never called myself an artist, that will be judged by history,” said the man, who hasn’t directed a feature film since 2004. It’s not because he doesn’t want to, he says, but it’s hard for him to find financing. In that sense, he explained that making independent films today is “more difficult than ever.”

Waters, who claims to always have “plan b”, continues to tell stories, either in writing or as a monologue, a facet linked to his early days as a filmmaker, touring the universities with his muse Divine and organizing a small theater to go to your movies. His visit coincides exactly with the 50th anniversary of ‘Pink Flamingos’, a film essentially made with the aim of breaking “at a time when practically everything was worth it” and which is currently mostly included in the lists. of the best American movies: “It’s hilarious that a movie that has been accused of so many things after its release has achieved that. It was an exercise in bad taste and is still a rarity. I thought over time it would be more fun would be, but now it’s worse because of political correctness.” He told yesterday that the film had five cuts of censorship, including that of real dog poop Divine put in his mouth and that of a chicken being killed. “I wouldn’t kill a chicken again,” he explained wryly, “but the man who did it cooked it and then ate it, we made that chicken’s life better.”

Despite having played all the sticks in the industry, the ‘underground’, the independent cinema and the ‘mainstream’, the filmmaker explained that all his films mean the same to him: “They have the same values ​​and the same sense of humor”. And he explained that the cinema that interests him most at the moment is European. “I love to feel bad when I go to the movies. I want to see films that terrify me or take me into a world that scares me, or that make me laugh at things I could not have imagined and I think European cinema is the closest, he said, pointing to filmmakers like Bruno Dumont, Gaspar Noé and Lars Von Trier. When asked about the latest movies that had shocked him, he didn’t hesitate to say ‘romantic comedies’.

With the festival, the Filmoteca has given Waters the opportunity to program a cycle featuring some of his favorite gay films. For example, in the first week of July and coinciding with Pride, the Filmoteca will show ‘Un chant d’amour’ (Jean Genet, 1950), ‘Las hora y los tiempo’ (Christopher Munch, 1991), ‘La ley del strong’ . (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975), ‘Hot’ (Paul Morrissey, 1972), ‘Pink Narcissus (James Bidgood, 1971) and ‘The Noose’ (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948). “Gay people have been watching straight movies all their lives, so straight people can too,” he said amusedly.

Source: La Verdad


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