Waters’ World, Ctd

by Dish Staff

A NSFW clip from Pink Flamingos:

Jerry Saltz celebrates John Waters as not only “one of America’s best moviemakers, [but] also an outstandingly original artist”:

No one gets the cross-section of showbiz and fandom like him. In giving us these extraordinarily particular individuals and distinct visages — both psychological and visual — Waters gets you to know in your bones that the more we are part of a vast crowd of people who idolize someone or something, the more alone and special we feel in our idolization. These are the tribal roots of his art — maybe of all art: the mad adoration and the giving-up of self in order to become more of one’s self. In the same way that Hamlet is so deep that each of us has our own understanding of Hamlet, Pink Flamingos is so specific, if demented, that each of us who reveled in it has our own version of Pink Flamingos. Waters also makes great, telling text-pieces, little index cards with “to-do lists” made up of scores of items, all written in and then crossed out in teeny writing in an orderly fashion. This is one busy, smart, anal-retentive, driven, deeply squirrelly artist.

Saltz goes on to say that he particularly loves that “Waters identifies as a dual citizen of Gotham and his home Baltimore”:

He has said, “I’ll ask myself, ‘What do I feel like doing this weekend? Do I feel like going to a redneck biker bar in Baltimore that I love, that totally accepts me, and where anyone else who went there would get beat up? Or do I want to go to an art opening in New York?’ I love doing that, too … I never go in the middle. That’s my success, because I never have to be in the middle. I never have to be around assholes.” … I love that Waters is one of us, one of those celebrities you see walking around town and feel secretly pleased with yourself for living in such a cool city. Spotting his visage, those alert, beady eyes, and that gentleman-dandy decadent-lecher thrills me with the presence of a true Bohemian prince of the city.

Previous Dish on Waters here and here. Last Christmas, we covered the director’s favorite holiday cinema here.