|John Waters, filming Pink Flamingos, 1972|
Yeager's roll call of Waters' family, friends and fans is impressive - we hear from Waters charming, slightly bemused but proud parents, his brother Steve, Divine along with the rest of Waters' repertory cast from his early films (seen in contemporary interviews, and archival footage) and a host of film maker admirers - Steve Buscemi, Jim Jarmusch, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Paul Morrisey, Jonas Mekas, the Kuchar Brother George and Mike, Ken Jacobs, Hal Hartley, and David O Russell. Of course Waters himself makes for great company and he's on fine form here, reeling off great stories from those heady days and paying an affectionate tribute to the late Divine whom he refers to as a dear friend, my star and my Elizabeth Taylor...
|Steve Yeager interviews Divine in full regalia, 1972|
But the final triumph of Divine Trash is that it concentrates on those early trailblazing days and mercifully spares us the later Waters' misfires which a wider career retrospective would have netted. Arguably Waters last great film was Polyester which was followed by a string of bland, and uninteresting films, but as Divine Trash makes clear, it was this vital early era that paved the way for a new generation of film makers who would make their own entry into the bad taste sweepstakes.
|John Waters in 1998... "If I discovered the cure for cancer tomorrow, Pink Flamingos would still be ahead of that in my obituary"|
Divine Trash was issued on DVD in 2000 courtesy of Fox Lorbor. Unfortunately, the DVD is now long OOP but can still be picked up cheaply so its worth seeking out. Picture quality is fine for the contemporary interviews, and is understandably more scrappier for the older footage, but overall its a very worthwhile disc. Highly recommended.
1. A title card at the end of the movie reveals that Kenneth Anger and Russ Meyer both declined to be interviewed for the film. Whatever about Meyer's refusal, it's interesting to speculate on Anger's no show - perhaps it was due to the presence of one of the interviewees, author Bill Landis whom Anger put a curse as a response to Landis' 1995 book Anger: The Unauthorized Biography of Kenneth Anger.