1-20 of 32 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
After Divine, Edith Massey is the most beloved actor in John Waters‘ early Dreamland Studios ensemble. Whether she was playing the Egg Lady in Pink Flamingos, Aunt Ida in Female Trouble, Queen Carlotta in Desperate Living or Cuddles in Polyester, Massey always put in an unforgettable performance. Above, Robert Maier, who worked on most of those films and became good friends with Edie, shares his remembrances with this unique lady hanging out at her thrift store or making his 1972 documentary, Love Letter to Edie, which is available on eBay.
Recently, Maier has been cashing in on his experiences working on Waters’ trashy movies and we say: Thank God! As of this writing, Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film is only about a quarter through Maier’s memoir Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies With John Waters, but we can unequivocally say that this book is an absolute must read. »
- Mike Everleth
I first met John Waters as a crew member on "Female Trouble," his follow-up to his ground-breaking film, "Pink Flamingos." We hit it off well as young movie-crazy counter-culturists from the Baltimore suburb of Towson. Working together nearly every day until "Female Trouble" was released, we also became Friday night drinking buddies in the “art crowd” that prowled Baltimore’s Fells Point bar scene in the 1970s. When "Female Trouble" went into distribution, John wasn’t so busy during the week. One night he called to see if I’d go to the movies with him. He »
- Robert Maier
 Year-end top 10 lists can get pretty mind-numbing, as you see the same titles crop up again and again and again... and again, but filmmaker John Waters has set himself apart by both by posting his a bit early and by, oh yeah, being John Waters. You wouldn't seriously expect the man who gave us Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Hairspray to just name War Horse and The Artist like everrrrrrryone else, would you? No, Waters' tastes tend toward more unconventional choices, like Kaboom, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (seriously), with Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In topping the list. Read the top 10 after the jump. Waters published his list in Artforum  (via First Showing ), along with brief explanations for his picks: 1. The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar) 2. Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes) 3. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Jon M. Chu »
- Angie Han
Cult director John Waters has never been nominated for an Oscar, but if you think about it, Tate Taylor's "The Help" -- a shoo-in for a few little gold statues this year -- is essentially Waters's "Hairspray" dusted off and restructured for maximum award potential.
There is no jitterbugging or high-camp humor in "The Help," but both movies are set in the early '60s and involve a forward-thinking white gal who charms her way inside the African-American community, gains its trust, and brings about social change while exposing racists for what they are. Also, just like in the infamous scene in Waters' "Pink Flamingos" during which Divine eats dog poo, one of the maids in "The Help" serves up a pie made of her own excrement to her former employer. Bon appétit, Oscar watchers!
- Robert DeSalvo
I'm trying to keep it kinky! 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, quirky filmmaker (of Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray) who always has unique choices on his top list, and this year is no exception. The list comes from ArtForum (via twitter) and does indeed include Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In as his #1 favorite of the year, a "dark, twisted, beautiful, and, yes, funny shocker from the greatest director in the world." Great choice, but there's plenty more he's got including a few that'll will make you spit your milk, so read on for the full thing. On the original ArtForum post, Waters provides a brief blurb about each film, which we've included a few of the better quotes from in his list below. Yes, he somehow put the 3D concert »
- Alex Billington
The cult film director talks therapy and some surprising rules of gift-giving etiquette
How perplexing it must have been for passengers arriving at Baltimore's train station to see film-maker John Waters – ordained the "Pope of Trash" by William Burroughs – standing there, instantly recognisable with his pencil-thin moustache and pencil-thin frame wearing sunglasses and a sand-coloured silk suit darkened with splashes of rain, as though he had just been caught in a downpour.
Waters is synonymous with Baltimore; his hometown is where all of his films (including cult classic Pink Flamingos and mainstream hit Hairspray) have been shot. And it is a cloudless autumn morning. Having met before, he offered to pick me up at the station and drive to lunch. Upon closer inspection, it's clear the illusion of rain splattered on the cuffs of the trousers and the shoulders of the blazer are part of the design. As with most things with John Waters, »
- Ariel Leve
Writer/director Todd Rohal‘s latest film, The Catechism Cataclysm, is a genuine discovery. Quirky doesn’t begin to describe the film, which despite some wackier elements, is more of a comedy than anything else. The Christian-tinged farce about a priest and his idol going on a canoe trip is downright hilarious. The social awkwardness of Eastbound & Down‘s Steve Little carries the film as his idol Robbie [Robert Longstreet] tells many stories-within-a-story that continually deliver laughs. All of it is capped with a perfect song about God f-cking you up if you do bad things. Yes, it goes there.
When I got the chance to interview Rohal I had to jump on it and below you can find our conversation. We touch on the oddity of the title, the crazy stories within the film, how it all started, what kind of freedom he had, the involvement of Kickstarter and the support he received, »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
31 – Rosemary’s Baby
Directed by Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski’s brilliant horror-thriller was nominated for two Oscars, winning Best Supporting Actress for Ruth Gordon. The director’s first American film, adapted from Ira Levin’s horror bestseller, is a spellbinding and twisted tale of Satanism and pregnancy. Supremely mounted, the film benefits from it’s strong atmosphere, apartment setting, eerie childlike score and polished production values by cinematographer William Fraker. The cast is brilliant, with Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes as the young couple playing opposite Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer, the elderly neighbors. There is ominous tension in the film from first frame to last – the climax makes for one of the greatest endings of all time. Rarely has a film displayed such an uncompromising portrait of betrayal as this one. Career or marriage – which would you choose?
30 – Eraserhead
Directed by David Lynch
Filmed intermittently over the course of a five-year period, »
42 – Nosferatu: The First Vampire
Directed by F.W. Murnau
1922 – Germany
The earliest surviving film based on Dracula is Nosferatu, an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. One of the first vampire movies, it is perhaps on one of the best vampire movies ever made. Generally creepy from beginning to the last frame.
Federico Fellini (segment Toby Dammit)
Roger Vadim (segment Metzengerstein)
1968 – France
First thing to notice is the three directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim. Second you need to take notice in the cast which includes Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Alain Delon, Terence Stamp, Salvo Randone, James Robertson Justice, Françoise Prévost and Marlène Alexandre. Spirits Of The Dead is an adaptation of three Edgar Allan Poe stories that amount to one mixed bad, but with one incredible segment that needs to be seen. »
In select theaters now, and coming to On Demand October 26th, is the strange new comedy The Catechism Cataclysm from director Todd Rohal. The film follows a young, unconventional priest known as Father Billy (Steve Little) who goes on a daylong canoe trip with a fellow classmate that he used to idolize in high school. To say any more about the actual film itself would be to give away its mystery.
We recently met up with Steve Little, who may be best known as Stevie on Eastbound & Down, to chat about this crazy movie and its unconventional ways. There are no spoilers ahead, but here is our conversation, where we try to find the true meaning in The Catechism Cataclysm.
I have to imagine that when various audiences see this movie, »
FrightFest is probably my favourite film festival and it’s definitely five days in August that I now look forward to every year. This is in part down to the excellent organisation, the incredible atmosphere and the fellow film fans you get to spend the August Bank Holiday with but mostly it’s because the festival affords you the opportunity to sit in a cinema for five days and watch a lot of films that you’ve not seen before.
Achieving what, for me, was a slightly disappointing total of 21 films out of a possible 27, although I had seen 3 already, I got the opportunity to see a number of films on that giant Empire screen (my view of which can be seen to the left) that will most likely rarely again get the chance to play in a cinema in the UK. This is one of the joys of FrightFest »
- Craig Skinner
The antics were X-rated – on screen and in the audience. Tony Paley remembers the sleazy heyday of London's Scala cinema
The Scala cinema is dead: long live the Scala. The last ticket stub at London's legendary picture house was torn 18 years ago, but like the zombies that often haunted its screen, its influence on movie culture refuses to die.
A seven-week celebration of the cinema, reliving its famous all-nighters and trash/horror/arthouse double and triple bills, begins later this month. The Scala Forever season will feature 111 films screened at 26 London venues, some of them selected and introduced by the film industry people who frequented what became known as the Sodom Odeon in the 80s and early 90s. (Highlights include Tilda Swinton introducing The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which she first saw at the Scala.)
As well as celebrating the King's Cross venue, organisers hope to draw attention to some of the cinemas, »
- Tony Paley
The Smithsonian reports the clip to the right from Franco Zeffirelli's remake of the 1931 movie The Champ, starring Jon Voight as a boxer and Ricky Schroder as his son "has become a must-see in psychology laboratories around the world when scientists want to make people sad." The Champ has been used in experiments to see if depressed people are more likely to cry than non-depressed people (they aren't). It has helped determine whether people are more likely to spend money when they are sad (they are) and whether older people are more sensitive to grief than younger people (older people did report more sadness when they watched the scene). Dutch scientists used the scene when they studied the effect of sadness on people with binge eating disorders (sadness didn't increase eating). The project to find scenes that could reliably elicit a strong emotional response in laboratory settings began all »
- Brad Brevet
After years of research, scientists have found out that "The Champ," starring Jon Voight and Ricky Schroder, is the saddest movie ever made. This finding was part of a study that tried to figure out how emotions affect people's behavior. While it's unlikely that scientists watched every movie out there, James Gross and Robert Levenson have determined that a clip from "The Champ" gets people to cry the fastest. And as soon as the tears begin flowing, volunteers are immediately hit with questions about food (not likely to eat when sad) and shopping (more likely to spend when sad). "Bambi" was used for a little while, but "The Champ" gets the crying going faster. I'm not going to describe the scene from "The Champ" that's used since it spoils the entire movie, but you can watch it below (stars at 5:25). To elicit other emotions, Meg Ryan's orgasm scene »
In 1995, two scientists published a report listing sixteen short film clips most likely to elicit specific emotions. There are clips for everything from amusement and anger to surprise and sadness. Scientists show these clips when they want a subject to feel a specific way in a controlled environment. And while it's hard to crown the most "angry" movie of all time or most "surprising," tears make sadness a bit more quantifiable. The clip that's most often use to bring someone to tears, and can therefore be referred to as the scientifically proven "saddest movie in the world," is Franco Zeffirelli's 1979 film The Champ. Watch the scene, read more about the study and see what other films are part of the report after the jump. Smithsonian Magazine  (via Moviefone ) wrote about the study which was conducted by psychology professor Robert W. Levenson his then graduate student James J. Gross at the University of California, »
- Germain Lussier
On Saturday, July 9th, Dread Central hosted a sneak peek of Tim Sullivan's "I Was a Teenage Werebear" from the Chillerama anthology in Metuchen, New Jersey; and in advance of the full film being shown this Friday, July 22, at San Diego Comic-Con, we thought we'd provide you with our first impressions of "Werebear" to help whet your appetites.
Ah the 50’s with their beach blanket parties always erupting into song and dance and, later that evening, awkward groping done off camera. After all, this was a “gentler” time and such naughty moments were alluded to but otherwise never seen in public. It is with these images in mind and a great love of John Waters that a man named Tim Sullivan brings us a little film called “I Was a Teenage Wearbear!!”
In high school we all go through that awkward age. For some it is a time of sexual exploration, »
Chicago – Throughout his extensive work as a film columnist, author and journalist, Robert K. Elder has been drawn to exploring both the universality and striking diversity of the human experience. In his books, Elder is intent on capturing specific moments within the lives of his subjects, while discovering their universal truths through their juxtaposition.
Elder’s latest book, “The Film That Changed My Life,” is no exception. The book compiles one-on-one interviews with thirty directors about the pivotal moviegoing experience that altered their sense of cinema (and sense of self). Filmmakers and film buffs alike will undoubtedly find the book to be a compulsive page turner. John Woo discusses his idolization of James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause,” while Frank Oz gushes about his love of Welles in “Touch of Evil” and Atom Egoyan recalls the moment he first stumbled upon Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona.”
On June 11, Elder will »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Jeff Krulik and John Heyn’s latest head-banging documentary Heavy Metal Picnic makes its Windy City debut tonight, June 4 at 8:00 p.m., as the Closing Night film of the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Cuff website. The screening is at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
Heavy Metal Picnic is a quasi-sequel to Krulik and Heyn’s immortal classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot. It details, via archival home footage and modern reunion interviews, a raucous weekend-long outdoor farm party held in Maryland. Heavy metal bands played, alcohol was consumed, drugs were ingested, romances were born and a ton of fun was had.
Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film reviewed the film several months ago. An excerpt:
Listening to the Jamboree party goers with their thick Maryland accents, completely inebriated ramblings, rude attempts at humor and at least one fistfight makes the event »
- Mike Everleth
Filed under: Features, Summer Movies, New Releases, This Week in Movies
This Week in 1981: 'Polyester' Wafts Into Theaters
3D may be the gimmick of the moment, but 30 years ago this week (on May 29, 1981), John Waters came up with a different way to extend movies into a new dimension and make them more in-your-face. It was called Odorama, and his test vehicle, a movie you could smell, was 'Polyester.'
'Polyester' was a brave undertaking for Waters, previously known as the outsider auteur whose deliberately outrageous films (most notoriously 'Pink Flamingos') had been relegated to midnight-movie status. For the first time, he was courting the attention of the mainstream. He risked having both cult fans and mainstream critics tell the world that 'Polyester' stunk (often literally). And while none really dared follow his technical innovation, Waters did prove that the mainstream »
- Gary Susman
I Am Divine is a new documentary by Jeffrey Schwarz that is currently still in production and isn’t due out until next year. However, there’s already a teaser trailer to help promote the film, which is embedded above.
The trailer includes tons of great clips of the drag queen icon from classic John Waters films such as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester Multiple Maniacs and Hairspray. Plus, there are brief interview snippets with both Divine and her male alter ego Glen Milstead, as well as with her Polyester and Lust in the Dust co-star Tab Hunter; and, of course, John Waters.
Although the film isn’t due out for a year, there’s already tremendous interest in the film based on its Facebook page gaining nearly 10,000 Likes in just a couple of days. As of this writing, the trailer also has about a 1,000 views and its only been up less than two days. »
- Mike Everleth
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