The life and times of Baltimore film maker and midnight movie pioneer, John Waters. Intercut with a 1972 interview of Waters are clips from his first films and recent interviews with his ... See full summary »
Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".
A suburban housewife's world falls apart when her pornographer husband admits he's serially unfaithful to her, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.
A day in the lives of a hit-and-run driver and her victim, and the bizarre things that happen to them before and after they collide (sexual assault by a crazed foot-fetishist, visions of ... See full summary »
The actor/singing/pop phenomenon Divine is the subject of this terrific
new biographical film--but it's also NOT a film for everyone. After
all, Divine's persona was offensive and on the fringe--and deliberately
so. And so, if you can handle it, this documentary will be a treat.
Glen Milstead was a seemingly unremarkable kid. After all, he grew up
in the rather unglamorous city of Baltimore and there was little about
his early years that would indicate he'd be world famous by his
incredibly premature death at age 42. But, from this humble beginning
somehow sprang one of the most outrageous stars of the 1970s and
80s...and this film is his story.
Not surprisingly, the film begins with a lengthy discussion of his
childhood and early adulthood. Much of this was provided by his mother,
Frances, but many friends contributed as well. However, in his late
teens, the sorts of friends he began associating with changed
dramatically. Up until then, he'd been a rather nerdy, chunky kid with
a long-time girlfriend who was also secretly gay---and with few other
friends. However, when he met up with John Waters and the rest of his
bizarre group of friends, Glen soon transformed himself. Some of the
transformation involved drugs and parties, but the most outrageous
change was his creation of a character Waters christened 'Divine'. And
Divine began appearing in a lot of super-cheap, offensive and weird
underground films by Waters. At first, no one noticed because no one
was ready for such strangeness. But, slowly, the character's impact
began to grow. How it went from playing in super 8mm films to a world-
wide star is the subject of the rest of the film. I could say more, but
frankly it's better if you just see the film.
The documentary, fortunately, is not just a list of his screen credits
and discussion of his films, but talks about his stage and music career
as well. Additionally, it shows a lot of genuine affection for Glen
from all his friends, co-workers and mother. And, about the part of him
that was sad--the part that ate compulsively to fill some unfilled
void. This portion was actually quite touching--and let you know that
off-screen and off-stage, he was very little like his insane persona,
So, why is this a film that I recommend that most of you don't see?
Well, first it's so incredibly offensive--mostly because Divine was a
deliberately offensive character. She curses, make a lot of crude
remarks about sex and is a walking horror show in the film. If you got
the joke--it is great. But many will simply be offended--especially
when they talk about what he did at the end of the film "Pink
Flamingos"! As a fan of Divine who has seen him/her in just about
everything (including most of the old 8mm films), I adored I Am Divine
and was thrilled to hear about Glen and Divine's successes...and
oddness. I also have very thick skin and a love of weird films--and
Divine's are a very strange assortment of movies--to put it mildly! If
you are already a fan, this film is for you!! It's better than the
other biographical documentary, "Divine Trash"--mostly because it just
seems a lot more complete. Plus, it's so well made and informative--and
it's exactly what his fans will love. If you are not, watch at your own
risk!! In fact, I recommend in this case you do some film watching
BEFORE you watch this bio. Start with his LAST film (the original
"Hairspray") and work your way backwards!! Then, after you've become
thoroughly indoctrinated (if you can make it that far because they get
weirder and more offensive the farther you go), then try seeing "I Am
Divine"! Seriously. Otherwise a lot of the character and folks' love of
him/her just might make a lot of sense as you see this documentary and
its weirdness might not make any sense. Don't say I didn't warn you!!
This film is currently available streaming through Netflix as well as
for sale from many sources including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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