What these people did share was an absolute willingness to bring Waters' ideas to life. And these were not normal ideas in Baltimore in 1971. One of the unluckiest people featured in the documentary is Mary Ovara, the Maryland state censor, to whom Waters submitted his movies. One suspects he did it just to shock her, and he was 100% successful in that regard. Asked to recall particular scenes which incurred her displeasure, Mary (now an old woman) almost breaks down in tears , such was her disgust. She can hardly speak to describe one particular scene, from Multiple Maniacs, where Divine is being raped by having rosary beads stuffed up her bottom, while having a vision of Christ's crucifixion. Exactly.
As you would glean from the documentary's title, Divine (a.k.a. Harris Glenn Milstead) features largely (as only a gaudily made-up, 300 pound transvestite can) in both Waters' work and this feature. Completely over-the-top in every movie, it's hard to imagine Waters movies without him. Divine died at age 42 in 1989, so our only impression of him is from the movie clips. Unlike Waters, who has moved into the mainstream and middle age with ease, it's not easy to imagine Divine as a fifty-year-old reminiscing about the past.
The most touching part of the documentary is the interview with Divine's mother, who clearly loved her son, but was totally bewildered by his persona (and probably his friends). Waters' parents are endearingly level-headed, with a wry view of their son's oeuvre. This is probably because they have never seen any of his movies. Waters himself comes across as a witty charming guy, gleefully recalling how his early movies shocked and stirred an unsuspecting Baltimore community.
The documentary is at its weakest while attempting to assess the impact and legacy of Waters' work. Jim Jarmusch , Buscemi and others, while rightly pointing out that Waters work was completely different from anything, are less convincing in persuading us that his legacy is worth very much. True, Waters satirised the middle-class normality from whence he came, but Waters didn't invent satire, and the schlock-horror dramatics and low budget production values pretty much obscured any message contained in the movies. And the movie avoids his later work, which, though entertaining in varying degrees (Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, etc.), really haven't made much of an impression on audiences. But I suspect that the real subversive nature of his movies was the fear of middle-class parents that their kids would watch his movies in the first place.
Asked whether Waters' movies were pornographic, one contributor replies that the test of whether [Pink Flamingos] was pornography, you should be able to masturbate to it, and concludes that you would have to be very sick indeed to masturbate to that movie. Yes, indeed you would. Pink Flamingos is the tale of two families competing for the title of 'filthiest' family alive. The plot is bizarre but culminates with Divine eating dog excrement. Real dog excrement. Those of you with a nervous disposition can rest assured - the actual scene is not shown. However, the out-takes show how Waters and Divine planned the scene (Divine doesn't bat an eyelid when Waters suggests the scene), and then waiting around for the mutt in question to perform (who had been given a hearty meal beforehand). The most unsettling part is the fact that the cast and crew are absolute unfazed by the scene.
This documentary takes a very benevolent and amusing view of Waters and his work , accepting without question or much analysis that his early work was important and had a big impact on later American cinema. However, there isn't much analysis of any sort, actually; more a humorous account of a bunch of very weird people getting together and upsetting as many people as they could.(via)
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