John Waters shares ‘This Filthy World’
JOHN WATERS kept the film fest crowd in stitches Saturday during a monologue about his life.
If you interview, listen to, read or simply pay attention to John Waters long enough, you begin to realize he has reduced the story of his life to the length of a single stand-up routine.
And he has now polished that routine to such a perfect sheen, each story, vignette and punch line delivered with such particular, well-paced precision, that it unfolds like the script of a familiar movie, which, of course, it is.
In its various versions, that script is called, “This Filthy World.” If you weren’t in the audience at the John Waters party on Saturday, during the Sonoma International Film Festival, you can rent the film version on NetFlix.
If you were there, and if you were somewhere between the age of, say, 15 and 80, you very likely laughed yourself sick.
And if you were there, and took notes that you looked at afterward, you would instantly know that not very much of what Waters said can be repeated in a family newspaper.
In a non-stop succession of one-liners Waters reviewed his life. He recalled being kicked out of every school he attended (“Well, I didn’t get kicked out of grade school.”) and that fueled “the rage to make ‘Pink Flamingos,’” which led to the advice, “Be glad your kids are in trouble (in high school); they’ll end up in the arts.”
He then made various pointed references to Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and Levi Johnson.
Segueing to the subject of drugs, Waters asked, “Wouldn’t you rather your kids are drug dealers rather than drug addicts?” He then reminded the audience he was the first person to ever be thrown out of college for smoking pot, but later insisted, “I don’t take drugs now, it seems so retro.”
Addressing the subject of being gay, he said, “I’m queer, but I’m mentally ill – don’t ask me what gays should do. (But) gay is not enough, it’s a class issue … Lesbians have the right to be bad parents just like straight people.”
Waters repeated the claim that when he created “Hairspray,” which morphed into a $200-million movie musical, “I never meant to make a hit.”
Waters, who is not a fan of religion in general and Catholicism in particular,defines his role in life as a perpetual battle against the “tyranny of good taste,” and confessed, “I don’t want to hurt the pope – I just wanna pie him and ruin his outfit.”
Waters was born in, and plans to die in, Baltimore, the Maryland city where his friend and leading lady, the drag queen Divine is buried. “We all bought graves there; it’s going to be called Disgraceland. Come visit!”