The brilliantly entertaining filmmaker, writer and shock auteur supremo, John Waters is coming to Australia in March as part of the Mardi Gras festival to perform his glorious one man show, This Filthy World.
Described as a ‘vaudeville’ act, This Filthy World celebrates the film career and obsessional tastes of the man William Burroughs once called, “The Pope of Trash”. Focusing in on Waters’ early negative artistic influences and his fascination with true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy, and the extremes of the contemporary art world, this joyously devious monologue elevates all that is trashy in life into a call to arms to “filth followers” everywhere.
Since his teenage years, John Waters has used Baltimore, which he fondly dubbed the “Hairdo Capitol of the World,” as the setting for all his films. Waters made his first film, an 8-mm short, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket in 1964 and has since forged an unstraying path in his quest “to give bad taste a good name”. In 1967, he made his first 16-mm film with Eat Your Makeup, the story of a deranged governess and her lover who kidnap fashion models and force them to model themselves to death.
Mondo Trasho, Waters’ first feature length film, was completed in 1969. In 1972 Waters created what would become the most “notorious” film in the American independent cinema of the 1970’s, Pink Flamingos. Centered on the great battle to secure the title “Filthiest People Alive,” Pink Flamingos turning Waters into a cult celebrity and went on to become a smash success at midnight screenings in the U.S. and all over the world.
In 1981, Waters completed Polyester, a wide-screen comic melodrama starring Divine and Tab Hunter. Filmed in glorious “Odorama,” ticket buyers were given scratch ‘n’ sniff cards that allowed the audience to smell along with the characters in their fragrant search for romantic happiness.
In the 1988 version of Hairspray Waters created “an almost big-budget comedy extravaganza about star-struck teenage celebrities in 1962, their stage mothers and their quest for mental health.” The film was a box office and critical success and starred the then unknown Ricki Lake, Deborah Harry, the late Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, Pia Zadora and Ric Ocasek. It was made into a Broadway production and a remake of the film was released in 2007 starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. Later hit films include Cry-Baby with Johnny Depp and Serial Mom with Kathleen Turner.
In addition to writing and directing feature films, Waters is the author of five books: His next book, Role Models, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2010.
This Filthy World is an essential experience for anyone interested in how not to make a movie, how to become famous (read infamous) and how to shock and make people laugh. It’s tacky in excelsius.
John Waters – This Filthy World tours Australia in 2010. Dates are as follows:
Melbourne – Sat 27 Feb, The Arts Centre, Hamer Hall
Brisbane – Mon 1 March, Brisbane Powerhouse
Sydney – Tues 2 March, Sydney Opera House, as part of Mardi Gras Festival
Melbourne and Brisbane tickets go on sale November 28.
Sydney goes on sale November 30.