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This hard to find documentary focuses on the careers of influential partners in filth, John Waters and Divine. Includes lengthy interviews with John's parents and sister, Edith Massey treats us to two songs ('Punks, Get off the Grass' and 'Fever'), as well as a live performance of Divine performing his own song, 'Born to be Cheap'. A must see for any John Waters fan.
It's pretty clear that this documentary must have been made circa 1981.
First of all, this was clearly made in conjunction with the production and release of Polyester.
Also, the physical appearance of each of the subjects (Divine, Edith, John himself) matches the contemporary photos of same in Shock Value and other sources.
And most specifically, Divine mentions in the film that Mae West died "last year." West did in fact pass away in 1980.
It's too bad the extant copies of this doc are of such poor quality; it's a fascinating picture of the early Dreamlanders. Let's be thankful we also have Love Letter to Edie, Divine Trash, a few clips on the New Line "bonus disc," and the recently unearthed Edith's Shopping Bag to document this formative era.
Divine Waters (1985)
*** (out of 4)
This documentary was filmed by John Waters' POLYESTER was in theaters and features interviews with the filmmaker as well as Divine, Waters' parents and Edith Massey among others.
If you're a fan of John Waters then there's a lot of great material here, although there's certainly nothing ground-breaking about anything here. To me the most fascinating stuff deals with Waters' parents who are sitting with him as the three discuss his films as well as his early days. Waters discusses what it was like growing up with his parents and why they let him do weird things. It was rather funny hearing his parents talk about seeing some of his early movies.
The documentary has some very good stories about Waters and as usual the filmmaker does a great job at telling good stories that will hold your interest. The other great thing is that Massey and Divine are featured quite nicely here and especially Massey. The cult figure gets to sing a couple numbers here and we also get some footage of the premiere of POLYESTER.
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