John Waters

Get to know the ‘Kingpin of Filth’ ‘ John Waters

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  • Get to know the ‘Kingpin of Filth’ ‘ John Waters
  • Sally Luff
  • August 29, 2014

He’s the man who’s been described as the ‚ÄòPrince of Puke’ the ‚ÄòKingpin of Filth’ and the ‚ÄòPope of Trash’. He is the infamous, but charming John Waters.

He’s a renowned director, actor, author – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Waters gained notoriety in the 1970s for his boundary-pushing cult films before crossing over into Hollywood later in his career. Whether it’s through making audiences squirm during that final scene in Pink Flamingos or by creating some of the most iconic Broadway characters of our time, John Waters is constantly toting the line between good and bad taste.

From next Monday 11 August 9.30pm, we’re bringing you a celebration of John Waters’ filthy movie career with John Waters Presents: Films of Bad Taste.

Prepare yourself for a bizarre week, featuring the gleefully camp Cry-Baby with Johnny Depp and Ricki Lake, the black comedy Polyester, the wildly infamous Pink Flamingos, the original cult-classic hit Hairspray, and the hilarious A Dirty Shame, starring Johnny Knoxville and Selma Blair.

Before we launch into his unforgettable films, let’s help you get to know a little more about the man behind that recognisable pencil moustache.

WHO IS JOHN WATERS?

– As a child growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, Waters was obsessed by violence and gore, both real and on the screen.

– His favorite childhood memory was seeing real blood on the seat of a wrecked car when visiting a scrap yard and fantasizing about lethal car crashes.

– As a child he would stealthily watch adult-only films with binoculars at the local drive-in.

– He first dabbled in making silent films in 1960s, which he would screen at Baltimore church halls.

– As his subject matter steadily grew more and more shocking, he soon attracted the wrath of the local Baltimore newspapers.

– In the 1970s, he moved on to making feature length films, with wild scale success coming with the outrageous Pink Flamingos.

– Waters continued to make low-budget ‚Äòtrash’ films throughout the 1970s and 1980s, featuring a regular troupe of actors known as the ‚ÄòDreamlanders’‚Äîamong them Divine, Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, and Edith Massey.

– He also began casting real-life convicted criminals such as Liz Renay and Patty Hearst.

– Hollywood crossover success eventually came in 1988 with Hairspray.

– All of his movies to date are set in Baltimore.

– He was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995 and at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.

– He is obsessed with true-crime and used to regularly attend gory trials all over the USA.

– He has cited Russ Meyer, Otto Preminger, Liberace, William Castle, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Jayne Mansfield, Robert Bresson, and Pier Paolo Pasolini amongst his creative influences.

Watch the video above to go inside the home and mind of John Waters as we take a tour of his Baltimore home.

JOHN WATERS PRESENTS: FILMS OF BAD TASTE STARTS MONDAY 11 AUGUST 9.30PM

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