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Divine Trash [Import]

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 69.25
Only 5 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Waters, Pat Waters, John Waters Sr., Steve Buscemi, Mink Stole
  • Directors: Steve Yeager
  • Writers: Steve Yeager, Kevin Heffernan
  • Producers: Brooks T. Moore, Caroline Kaplan, Cindy Miller, Jonathan Sehring, Kevin Heffernan
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • Release Date: July 5 2000
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00004TBFQ
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Product Description

Independent producer and author John Pierson (Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes) defines the 1970s American indie scene as "the three Johns: John Cassavetes, John Sayles, and John Waters." John Waters, Baltimore's king of sleaze, in such classy company? According to Pierson in this 1998 documentary, Waters had an even more profound impact on American cinema. Director Steve Yeager, a Waters intimate for decades (he plays a bit part in Pink Flamingos), gathers the surviving members of his stock company for a portrait of the director, from backyard puppet show impresario to the transgressive underground and exploitation director who grossed out America in the 1970s. A generous array of film clips is enriched with archival interviews with Divine, David Lochary, and Edith Massey, and a chorus of film critics and underground and independent directors.

Fully half of the film chronicles the making of Pink Flamingos, with actual behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot (including the most priceless direction ever captured on film: "David, act some more"). A plentiful portion pays tribute to Divine ("the Godzilla of drag queens"), whom Waters calls "my Elizabeth Taylor." The only real disappointment in this rich and highly entertaining documentary is that it ends with Flamingos, as if his entire career since is a mere coda to this cultural touchstone. But this portrait is so rich and detailed that it's a forgivable directorial choice. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
First let me say how pleased I was to find this DVD at my local public library!
From there I will go on to say what an impressive piece of work this is. Having long been a fan of the movie Hairspray, which raised my curiosity about Divine in the first place, a natural progression enabled my curiosity about John Waters. This is primarily his story, the story of his work, with plenty of interview time with him. What an intriguing individual! What a creative time and place he lived in! How fortunate for all freedom loving Americans that such explorations were possible in that time and place. I doubt they could ever happen today.
True, the films do seem to be in questionable taste, with little, if any, socially redeeming value. But look closer, and you may find your own reflection. What is the value of shock value? What are its drawbacks? What have we gained? What have we lost?
John Waters was not shallow, nor was he untintelligent. He was creatively inspired, and no matter how we react to his work, react we do. Such is the nature of art.
I feel like I got to know the man just a little, which is exactly what I wanted to do. I understood a little more about his work, and its success. Do I approve? I still don't know, but I do know that whether I approve or not doesn't matter.
I do approve of freedom. I believe that no one was hurt, and that violence was not empowered through the message, which makes many of today's movies filthy in comparison.
John Waters is an interesting individual. It would have been intruging to have been in his entourage. One could not have escaped coming out a changed individual. He created a cocoon, a chrysalis, where larvae were nurtured and outrageous butterflies emerged. They loved what they were doing, and they were successful.
If nothing else, it is a deep meditation on the nature of success in a country that considers it a superior export.
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Format: DVD
As a long time John Waters FANATIC, I found myself glued to this DVD straight through... Although the documentary seems to be nothing more than a film adaptation of Water's two PHENOMENAL books of biographical essays CRACKPOT and SHOCK VALUE (literally, the pages come to life, and many of the quotes and anecdotes) - - the footage is worth it. The documentary is intriguing and informative and has plenty of Pink Flamingos era behind the scenes rare footage. - - You even get to meet his parents. - - While the DVD is visually intriguing, the books are hillarious, making both the books and the DVD well worth getting together. - - For example, in his book Waters tells the story of how the dog that laid the golden egg (so to speak) was a bit poo shy... The documentary, in turn, catches the set up behind the scenes... In fact, it is fascinating not only to watch interviews with a young John Waters, but also to see his directing style in action - - (DVD extras won't blow you away, but still... you'll probably end up watching this film over so many times, it'll be worth getting a DVD, before the tape eventually rips and goes to shreds !) - - Incidentally, there has been a lot of criticism how the DVD focuses disporportionately on Pink Flamingos, however, considering that this was the film that broke him into the public eye and seemed to epitomize his style, I think it is very appropriate, and gives the film a focused point of reference to tell his story from.
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Format: DVD
I've seen only three of Waters' movies, which is plenty, and I enjoyed this documentary, but five stars? C'mon! It consists of clips from his movies, plus "talking head" interviews with a lot of unimportant (and self-important) people.
Waters comes across as an intelligent and surprisingly normal guy, and it's interesting to learn how his moviemaking style evolved, but the constant references (by others) to his important role in moviemaking history is mostly bunk. The guy made crudely-produced gross-out movies. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what you wanna watch, but Fellini he ain't. Definitely worthwhile for hardcore Waters fans; of marginal interest to everyone else.
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Format: DVD
These days "sick and twisted" animation festivals are very popular around the country, especially in college towns. There's something subversive and anti-establishment about them. Well, John Waters was turning out sick and twisted entertainment years before it was fashionable, and he used live actors, not animated characters, to play out his acid-trip stories in his belovedly filthy Baltimore. "Divine Trash" is an extremely interesting and well made documentary following Waters, his cast and crew during the filming of the infamous "Pink Flamingos," the film in which Divine ingests dog excrement to prove she is "the filthiest person alive." It's fascinating to see Waters interviewed today, as a more grounded middle aged man, as well as then, as an obviously chemically altered young director without a care in the world other than getting his vision on film. Actors Mink Stole, David Lochary, Edith Massey and the late, great Divine (on set and in drag during "Pink Flamingos") are interviewed as are various crew members, friends, and even foes, most notably a board member responsible for viewing Waters' work before assigning it a motion picture rating. Many might dismiss Waters' films as talentless trash, but I stand in awe of a writer/director who can plumb the depths of bad taste and create hilarious dialogue for actors who are not quite actors playing characters we've never seen before and are surely never to see again. It's also interesting to see the grass roots beginnings of a film maker who would eventually go on to make more mainstream comedies like "Polyester," "Hairspray" and "Serial Mom." Waters may not be your cup of tea, but "Divine Trash" is fascinating for documentary fans.
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