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"Bikini's and big booties - that's what it's all about." It's December which means we're already getting to that time of year when Top 10 lists arrive, and one of the first up is John Waters, the eccentric filmmaker (of Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray) who always has unique choices on his year end list, and this year is no exception. The list comes from ArtForum (via McN) and includes a number of documentaries along with a number of odd picks for his favorite films. And yes, #1 is Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, which he describes as "the best sexploitation film of the year." This is definitely going to rile up some folks. Read on! Waters includes a short one/two-sentence explanation with each pick, so head to ArtForum to read all of his thoughts on his Top 10 of 2013. I've included a few of the quotes below for some of the films »
- Alex Billington
Veteran filmmaker John Waters might be semi-retired from directing. After all, the 67-year-old filmmaker last stepped behind the camera in 2004 for A Dirty Shame. Still, Waters continued to make his shock presence felt throughout the film landscape as an actor (Seed of Chucky), a narrator (In the Land of Merry Misfits) and documentary subject (This Film Is Not Yet Rated). Waters also continued to work as film journalist contributing his Top Ten Film list to Artforum magazine. Waters chose Harmony Korine’s sexy crime drama Spring Breakers, starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine as college girls who turn into thieves over spring break, as his favorite film of 2013. »
Slim Pickens was an actor known for One Eyed Jacks, Blazing Saddles and of course Dr Strangelove. What you get this week is not Pickens the actor iconically riding the bomb down to the ground in the Stanley Kubrick classic or any kind of online retrospective of his work, but slim pickings in terms of new streaming choices. So it’s Netflix’s time to shine….
Netflix has added more or less all of the low-key interesting independent films from last year with real gems like Safety Not Guaranteed and Maniac and even the lesser likes of Excision and Some Guy Who Kills People. It’s entirely possible that Lovefilm/Amazon is behind closed doors after last week’s Marvel/Netflix news, plotting something with DC comics but we will see…
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
One of the most charming and inventive indie films of last year was this time travel »
- Chris Holt
If the yuletide cheer of the holiday season makes you want to gag, then you can't do worse than spend a night during December with 'The Pope of Trash,' John Waters. The "Pink Flamingos" director returns to New York next month with his acclaimed one man show, "A John Waters Christmas." Per the show's site: Placing the ‘X’ firmly in X-Mas, Waters shares some of his favorite holiday traditions, from his compulsive desire to give and receive perverted gifts to his religious fanaticism for Santa Claus and an unhealthy love of real-life holiday horror stories. The show runs December 13 and 14 at Stage 48. For tickets go here. And for a taste of what a John Waters-style Christmas entails, here's one of his carols, titled "Here Comes Fatty Claus." »
- Nigel M Smith
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 14 Nov 2013 - 06:19
The overlooked greats of the year 1998 come under the spotlight in our list of its 25 underappreciated movies...
Dominated as it was by the financial success of two giant killer asteroid movies, gross-out comedy hit There's Something About Mary and Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, 1998 proved to be an extraordinary year for cinema.
Okay, so history doesn't look back too fondly on Roland Emmerich's mishandled Godzilla remake, and Lethal Weapon 4 was hardly the best buddy-cop flick ever made, despite its handsome profit. But search outside the top-10 grossing films of that year, and you'll find all kinds of spectacular modern classics: Peter Weir's wonderful The Truman Show, John Frankenheimer's rock-solid thriller Ronin, and Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line.
Then there was The Big Lebowski, the Coen brothers' sublime comedy that has since become a deserved and oft-quoted cult favourite. »
Growing up in a small town in California in the 1980′s and into the 90′s with nothing to do, I existed on a steady diet of TV and books. Street Trash is one of those movies that would show up occasionally and piqued my interest because it seemed like something of the Troma variety. In fact, one could look at it as the best film that studio never made. I do recall the film looking rather grungy and beat up, so seeing it uncut and presented so beautifully was a bit of a shock. Who knew this little movie could look this fantastic? Let’s take a trip to the junk yard, shall we?
- Derek Botelho
(From contributing writer Bo Bory)
Marvel Studios' eagerly awaited, sci-fi fantasy, extravaganza, Thor: The Dark World, opens early November in theaters all across the country. For fans and critics lucky enough to catch a sneak-preview of the God of Thunder's other-worldly, action-packed sequel...Two things stood out: 1) the special effects are spectacular, and 2) the jokes are...Funny!
Yes...It's not a shock to think that Thor: The Dark World would have amazing special effects... after all, this is a big budgeted, mega action film helmed by HBO's Game of Thrones director, Alan Taylor, so naturally the movie would be chocked full of eye-popping CGI effects, and detailed, larger than life studio sets. But what seemed to take everyone by surprise, myself included, was how well all of those epic battle scenes and loud, theater-rumbling explosions and effects, »
Tom Tykwer‘s Perfume: the Story of a Murderer was released in theaters in 2006, but it’s seeing another day for a very particular reason: the rebirth of Odorama. Well, not quite. The film is getting a limited re-release accompanied by a “scent track,” with customized perfumes created to heighten the filmgoing experience by corresponding with certain scenes. In a film about a deranged killer who has a superhuman sense of smell and an obsession with getting sniffs, it’s an apt feature to introduce. Basically, it’s ritzy Odorama, the scratch-and-sniff technology brought to theatres by John Waters in 1981 with Polyester. Instead of dog poop and sweaty sneakers, the scents are Thierry Mugler fragrances, a far cry from Odorama’s wacky, intentionally gross-out roots. Back in the early 2000s, perfumer Christophe Laudamiel heard that a film adaptation of his favorite novel was in the works and got busy with his vision: crafting scents to match the »
- Samantha Wilson
The 4th annual Brisbane Underground Film Festival will take place on three nights — and one afternoon screening — on Nov. 21-23 at the Brisbane Powerhouse arts center.
The fest opens on the 21st with two documentaries about two iconic performers. First up is Jeffrey Schwarz’s hit I Am Divine, about the legendary actress and drag queen; followed by the performance film Peaches Does Herself.
Screenings at the rest of the fest include Drew Tobia’s outrageous debut feature See You Next Tuesday, which has been tearing up the underground circuit; Zach Clark’s holiday dark comedy White Reindeer; transgressive filmmaker Jon Moritsugu’s return to the cinema, Pig Death Machine; the graffiti art documentary Vigilante Vigilante by Max Good and more. Each feature film is preceded by a short film, as well.
The full film lineup for the 2013 Brisbane Underground Film Festival is below. But, please visit the fest’s »
- Mike Everleth
The film-maker talks about hitchhiking, his one-man show in Liverpool – and what his parents thought of Pink Flamingos
William Burroughs called the film director John Waters "the pope of trash". Waters, 67, was born, raised and still lives in Baltimore, Maryland where his close friend Divine, whom he made a star, also grew up. Waters's best-known movies include Pink Flamingos (in which Divine ate dog faeces), Polyester, Hairspray, Cry-Baby and Serial Mom. He is also a writer, artist and art collector and will perform his one-man show, This Filthy World – about film, his fascination with true crime, exploitation films and "fashion lunacy" – at this year's Homotopia arts festival in Liverpool. Waters is writing a book about hitchhiking across America last year.
How was the road trip?
I hitchhiked from my front door in Baltimore to my flat in San Francisco. I last hitchhiked when I was 16. It's a bit different when you're 66. Before, »
- Tim Teeman
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.
Directed by Benjamin Christensen
Denmark / Sweden, 1922
A gloriously English answer to “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” “The Last Impresario” pays documentary tribute to a London theater and film producer whose life is just one happy ending short of a neatly scripted biopic arc. Triumphing over adversity, breaking all the rules, leading with his heart rather than his head, charismatic playboy Michael White puts an individual spin on familiar tropes, emerging as a vivid protag who is largely easy to root for and wholly interesting. The only surprise is that it should have taken an Australian actress/model — Gracie Otto, younger half-sister of fellow thesp Miranda — to identify the story’s potential.
Otto first encountered White at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and was immediately struck by a twinkly-eyed septuagenarian who seemed to know everyone and was welcomed everywhere. He quickly agreed to let the statuesque beauty tell the story of his life, and soon the first-time »
- Charles Gant
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!
Written and directed by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. To solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, »
On a quiet street in late-1950′s suburban Baltimore – Baltimore! – an apple-cheeked upper-middle-class family moves in and two young men become neighbors by sheer coincidence. No one in their right mind could have predicted that these two boys would form a friendship that would last decades and unleash onto an unsuspecting public some of the most gloriously perverse collaborations in film history.
Then again, the world had never seen the likes of John Waters and Harris Glenn Milstead before.
The criminally entertaining new documentary I Am Divine yanks the cha-cha heels and wipes the liberally-applied makeup off of one of our true queer pop culture pioneers: Divine. Part drag queen, part vixen, part psychopath, and all woman (well, not quite), Divine subverted pretty much everything Hollywood had to say about women, sexuality, glamor, and common decency. Her face – often made up in garish, twisted masks and screaming to bring the walls down – is known everywhere. »
- Brian Juergens
"I Am Divine," the largely crowd-funded documentary directed by Jeffrey Schwarz, chronicles the life of none other than the Divine, John Waters' muse who defined a generation of proto-punk films like "Pink Flamingos" and "Female Trouble," and famously ate dog doo-doo in front of the camera. The film opens in New York on October 25 and in Los Angeles on October 30 (other cities here). Beneath the fierce -- in the true sense of the word -- makeup and drag he was Harris Glenn Milstead. Divine was just a day job, he insisted, but he ended up getting pegged for that alter-ego throughout his career until his death at age 42. The documentary covers his struggle to be taken seriously as an actor outside the larger-than-life Divine persona, meeting John Waters and other gay folks in Baltimore and, of course, his love of drugs and partying. For Waters loyalists and Divine devotees, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Divine Intervention: Schwarz Resurrects a Trailblazer for Loving Tribute
As gay culture becomes more normalized and commodified into the fabric of the mainstream zeitgeist, the importance of remembering the career of the talented Divine seems paramount. Documentarian Jeffrey Schwarz manages to evoke the larger than life star with a comprehensive and lovingly made homage with I Am Divine, an effort to explore his life through a variety of interviews and archival footage. For those familiar with his output, there’s certainly nothing revelatory to be experienced here, and while it serves as a wonderful preface to Divine’s notable body of work, it’s equally enjoyable to revisit the infamous, intriguing, and incomparable career of a star whose life ended much too soon.
- Nicholas Bell
Before the video revolution of the 1980s, it was damn near impossible for a suburban kid like myself to see the kinds of movies I read about in Danny Peary’s Cult Movies book. One of the titles Peary wrote about was "Pink Flamingos," a movie so demented, depraved and disgusting I became obsessed with finding out everything I could about the people who made it. Even before seeing any of his films, John Waters became my personal god, and I devoured his autobiographical books "Shock Value" and "Crackpot." I was still a closeted teenager with no tangible connections to gay culture, so John’s sensibility helped to lead me down a path of embracing my own difference. John’s relationship with his leading lady Divine was also inspiring. Their friendship and artistic collaboration gave me hope that I might someday find like-minded people and be able to express my true nature like they did. »
- Jeffrey Schwarz
Before there was RuPaul’s Drag Race, hell, before there was RuPaul, there was the divinely dangerous Divine, actor, singer, drag queen, provocateur extraordinaire. Willing to do not almost anything but anything on screen (including eating dog feces for Pink Flamingos, one of the many films he made with the legendary shocksploitation director, John Waters), all in the name of art. Starting its theatrical run this week at the Cinema Village in NYC and the Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane in Austin, I Am Divine tells the behind-the-scenes story of this force of nature that left no taboo unturned. Filmmaker interviewed the doc’s director, Jeffrey Schwarz, over email. […] »
- Mary Anderson Casavant
In I Am Divine, a worthy documentary tribute to the drag queen icon, trash king John Waters recalls hatching Pink Flamingos' infamous dog-shit scene: "What can we do that isn't against the law—yet?" Waters snickers. That dangling "yet" reminds viewers that Divine's life and career is now being considered from the safety of hindsight. In the film, Divine (né Glenn Milstead) is first an icon, then a person. As director Jeffrey Schwarz's bubbly gallery of talking heads observes, Divine had mixed feelings about his early collaborations with Waters. Divine couldn't find steady work as a character actor in later years because he was best known for gobbling feces. But he also understood that when you celebrate bad taste as much as he did, you look »
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 17 Oct 2013 - 06:29
Here are 25 more great, unsung films - this time, from the year 1994...
Yes, 1994. The year cinemas were dominated by such whimsical wonders as The Lion King, Forrest Gump, The Mask and, erm, True Lies. It was also the year Gump dominated the Academy Awards, and Four Weddings And A Funeral loomed large at the Baftas.
As ever, there was so much more to the year's cinematic landscape than Tom Hanks' park bench ramblings or Hugh Grant mithering from beneath his gorgously crafted hair. To prove it, here's a list of 25 films that, in our estimation, are among its most underappreciated. There's much horror, drama, tears and laughter, plus a couple of classic documentaries, too.
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