JOHN WATERS

July 10, 2019 at 4:45 am

We have an intimate conversation with award-winning cult-classic filmmaker John Waters.

To watch the full interview, click here. 

Aired on July 9, 2019. 

Transcript Print

>>> CULT CLASSIC FLICKMAKER AND
KING OF CAMP JOHN WATERS SITS
DOWN WITH MARYLAND PUBLIC
TELEVISION'S RHEA FEIKIN FOR A
CONVERSATION ON FILM, ART AND
POP CULTURE AND HOW WATERS
SUBVERSIVE HUMOR WAS ABLE TO
ENBODY THE COMPLEX MORAL CODES
OF THE TIME.
>> IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THERE
WOULD IT BE SOMEBODY IN THIS
COUNTRY OR MAYBE THE REST OF THE
WORLD WHO DOESN'T KNOW YOU, BUT
SHOULD THAT WILL PERSON APPEAR,
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ART
TO THAT PERSON?
>> WELL, MY ART, I WOULD NEVER
SAY ART.
I DON'T TALK ABOUT MYSELF.
I MEET YOUNG PEOPLE AND SAY WHAT
DO YOU DO, AND THEY SAY I'M AN
ARTIST.
I'LL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT.
NO THE HISTORY BOOKS WILL BE THE
JUDGE OF THAT.
DON'T CALL YOURSELF AN ARTIST.
THAT IS FOR OTHERS TO CALL YOU.
I WOULD SAY MY PHOTOGRAPHS
CELEBRATE EVERYTHING THAT CAN GO
WRONG IN SHOW BUSINESS AND THE
ART WORLD.
TWO INSIDER PLACES I MAKE FUN OF
THAT I LOVE.
I LIKE ALL THE ELITISM OF THE
ART WORLD.
IT'S HILARIOUS.
IT'S A SECRET LANGUAGE, YOU
DRESS A SECRET WAY.
ONCE YOU JOIN IT, IT'S A
MIRACLE.
YOU CAN SEE THE EMPEROR'S NEWS
CLOTHES.
IF YOU CAN WALK DOWN THE STREET
NAKED AND EVERYBODY ELSE THINKS
YOU'RE DRESSED, THAT IS ART.
>> JOHN IS AN AMAZING
MULTITALENTED INDIVIDUAL.
I THINK THE WORLD REALLY KNOWS
QUITE WELL HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO
CINEMA AND YOU KNOW HIS BOOKS
AND EVEN HIS WORK AS A
PERFORMER.
BUT PERHAPS THE LESS KNOWN
ASPECT OF HIS WORK IS HIS VISUAL
ARTS PRACTICE.
WE'VE BROUGHT TOGETHER OVER 160
WORKS FROM EUROPE AND THE UNITED
STATES FOR THIS EXHIBITION.
HIS WORKS RANGE IN TIOOM 1992 T.
THROUGHOUT THE EXHIBITION, I
THINK PEOPLE WILL FIND WORK THAT
THEY FIND SHOCKING OR IN BAD
TASTE.
OBVIOUSLY, THIS IS A STRATEGY
THAT JOHN HAS EMPLOYED FOR
YEARS.
JOHN, IKE AND TINA TURN TER I
KNOW YOU LOVE THEM.
>> I DID.
THIS MAY BE MY FAVORITE PIECE IN
THE SHOW.
I DON'T KNOW I KNOW THAT TINA
SHE SHOULD HATE IKE.
SHE COULD HAVE KILLED HIM AND A
JURY WOULD LET HER OFF HE
TREATED HER SO BADLY BUT THEY
WERE SO GOOD TOGETHER AND SUCH A
HUGE INFLUENCE ON MYSELF AND
DIVINE.
THIS IS WHAT SHE WAS LIKE THEN.
A RATTY MINK COAT, A PROCESSED
WIG, A MUSTACHE
SPRIINGOLATORS, SHE WAS SO GOOD.
>> TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT
HOW THE WHAT YOUR PROCESS IS.
>> THERE'S ONE I HAVE CALLED SHE
SHOULD HAVE SAID NO.
BASICALLY IT'S THE NAME OF A
MOVIE I LOVED GROWING UP BECAUSE
THE NUNS USED TO SAY WE WOULD GO
TO HELLFUL WE SAW IT.
I LIKED HEARING THEM SAY SHE
SHOULD HAVE SAID NO.
THE PICTURES IN IN SERIES NONE
ARE FROM A MOVIE BUT WOMEN THAT
SHOULD HAVE SAID NO TO DRUGS IS,
BAD AIRPLANES, BAD HUSBANDS.
I'M TELLING A STORY COMPLETELY
THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT
ORIGINAL MOVIE.
SO I THINK IT UP AHEAD OF TIME
AND THEN I HAVE TO FIND THE
IMAGES READING IT LEFT TO RIGHT
JUST LIKE A STORY BOARD IN A
MOVIE.LLID RE-ENACTMENT
OF THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION IN
1966 WHICH WAS THREE YEARS AFTER
IT REALLY HAPPENED.
WHICH IT DID GNT G OVER SO WELL.
LATER I REPHOTOGRAPHED THAT OFF
A BAD TV SCREEN AND BLEW IT UP.
TO ME IT LOOKED SCARILY LIKE THE
REAL ZAPRUDER FILM THAT BECAME
SO FAMOUS.
OF COURSE, TOO BIG FOR ONE WALL.
IT'S AN EPIC.
>> WHY DIVINE?
>> WELL, DIE VIN WAS MY LEADING
LADY.
WARHOL DID JACKIE.
DID I VINE WAS TO BE JACKIE SO
MUCH SHE'S DAYDREAMING AND IT
TURNS INTO THE KENNEDY
ASSASSINATION.
IN REAL LIFE SHE WANTED TO BE
ELIZABETH TAYLOR.
I'M THE ONE THAT WANTED TO BE
JACKIE KENNEDY.
WE PUT IT TOGETHER AND IT
WEIRDLY TURNED OUT TO BE
FRIGHTENING AND TOUCHING BECAUSE
IT ENDED UP LOOKING LIKE THE
REAL ZA PUD DRER FILM.
>> THEY PERN OR TOPIC IN THAT'S
TABOO.
>> YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WITH
RACE JOKES.
ANY KIND OF THING IF YOU'RE NOT
THAT PERSON OR MINORITY, YOU
HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL TO TELL
IT.
I DO USE IT.
IT'S A GRAY LINE.
ALL HUMOR IS A THIN LINE OF HOW
FAR YOU CAN GO AND MAKE PEOPLE
LAUGH AND WHETHER YOU CAN GET
AWAY WITH.
IT'S ALWAYS I'VE BEEN INTERESTED
IN AND THINGS I DON'T UNDERSTAND
IS ALWAYS A SUBJECT MATTER THAT
I'M DRAWN TO.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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