"Now to film a cunnilingus there has to be a fake vagina"

Before becoming the king of cinema trash and from the provocation, John Waters went with Divine to the university film clubs to promote and screen their films. It was the late '60s, and Pink Flamingos weren't a phenomenon yet, so they had to get people's attention. both started a show of stand up comedy in which Waters presented himself as a “hippie pimp” and introduced his friend who was throwing a dead fish into the audience. At that moment, two extras dressed as policemen entered and threatened to arrest them, so Divine suffocated and killed them just before the film began.

The mysterious film desired by moviegoers that is screened for the first time in Madrid

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John Waters himself recalled this anecdote in Madrid, a few hours before going on stage to perform his last monologue and sponsor the Rizoma festival, the first phase of which is being held these days. He did it to make it clear that, in some way, he has always done monologues. In which he has presented in Madrid he has promised that he will talk about everything. "Fashion, crime, sex, covid... everything except sports," says Waters, although he later corrects himself and remembers that he was also making fun of a Nike ad. He no longer throws dead fish, but there is still something of that provocation. "Now I launch anal bleach," he says and everyone laughs, not knowing if it's true or just one of his jokes.

Somehow he has always "told stories" as a way to earn "a living". She has done it in the form of movies and books. In fact, more than a filmmaker, he considers himself a writer. His raw material, laughter. “What I do is laugh at the things I love, but not at the things I hate. Being petty can be fun for 20 minutes, but not for two hours. That's how I've always made a living, even in today's politically correct world I'm still working, just like when some white men told me I couldn't show a vagina. I remember a woman from the censorship team who once told me 'don't talk to me about sex, I'm married to an Italian,'” Waters said.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of his most emblematic film, Pink Flamingos, famous for the moment in which Divine eats real dog poop, a scene with which he broke “all taboos”. “At that time there was a lack of provocation and it had a purpose, it was an exercise in bad taste and it is still a rarity. I thought it would be nicer now, but now it's worse than before because of that climate of political correctness. Now they put you ads that you can hurt sensitivities. Now, if you have a sex scene… for example, if someone performs cunnilingus first there has to be an 'intimacy coach' and then they have to put a fake vagina on top of the real one to do it, and I think that makes it even more sinister. It's grotesque."

For Pink Flamingos they wanted to cut five scenes, “the singing ass hole, the blowjob, the artificial insemination, when Divine eats the shit and when they kill the chicken”. “When we made it, Deep Throat had just been released, porn was legal… what was left to do, what else could we do? But we did something that's the one thing porn can't do, and that's eschatology. We did it out of sheer anarchy. Plus, she was a drag doing it, which left the censors even more perplexed. Pasolini also did it in Saló, but that was chocolate ”, he points out with bad milk and a lot of irony.

He doesn't like romantic comedies, but there is a type of film that he can't stand. “I hate the movies that everyone likes, those that win the Oscar”, he launches provocatively and then lists the directors that he does like, such as Sean Baker, Gaspar Noé or Bruno Dumont. For Waters, European cinema is one of the few that takes him to places where no one takes him. In fact, every year the director publishes the list of the films that he likes the most, where his beloved Almodóvar is always found. For the Filmoteca and on the occasion of LGTBIQ pride day, he has made an eclectic selection of “the best gay films”. “I have a very large list, but then the difficult thing is to get them. The fluffer, let's see who can get that… I'm sure straight people will like it. We gays have watched straight movies all our lives, so I'm sure they'll be able to get over it."

What I do is laugh at the things I love, but not at the things I hate. Being petty can be fun for 20 minutes, but not for two hours.

John Waters — Film director and writer

Although his best known films have been the 'trash', he has also flirted with Hollywood. He did it in The Mommy Murders, which John Waters has called his best film. “It is the most successful, the one with the highest budget, 13 million dollars, an amount that they would not give me now… but all the films are the same for me. They have the same sense of humor, the same values. For me, at the time, Pink Flamingos had a big budget, because I had done Multiple Maniacs before with much less. I started in the underground, then in the midnight sessions, then I was in independent cinema, then I was in Hollywood and finally in the underground part of Hollywood. I think I've covered all kinds of movies in this industry and I've been treated well in all of them. I have no complaints and I don't blame anyone. I think I've always made the movies I wanted, although I had to negotiate."

The filmmaker continues to reside in Baltimore, a city that always appears in the news when a new shooting occurs. Waters has been really concerned about the matter, and although he has claimed not to have the answer, he has made it clear that he does not understand that people can buy weapons with total impunity and that they should not have the right to do so. “Worst of all is that it is the poor who shoot the poor. It is a tragedy and it does not improve ”, he has settled.

He hasn't directed a film since 2004, when The Sex Addicts premiered, but he has continued to work, also for Hollywood. "I got paid to write three Hairspray sequels that I haven't done, and for a Christmas movie that I haven't done either," she revealed with a mischievous smile. Of course, his cinema has become more popular and even successful thanks to the internet. In fact, Multiple Maniacs has a 100% positive review rating on Rotten Tomatoes, when it “didn't get a single positive review at its premiere.” "Now it looks like The Last Movie," he adds, referring to the mythical film by Peter Bogdanovich, one of those cinephile totems that no one complains.

He makes it clear that he has not retired and does not plan to do so. Now he tells stories in a different way, in the form of books and he always has "a plan B", because in this industry when you neglect yourself you are no longer there. "Don't blink because someone is always waiting to take your space," she recommends. John Waters even had time to dodge the bullet that came in the form of a question about Johnny Depp, whom he turned into a star thanks to Cry Baby (The Tear). He did it in the form of a "joke" after saying that he did not want to say much because Depp is his friend: "Hopefully now they go out together and say that they are back and that they are going to sue all the media." A scene that seems typical of one of his films, but far from reality and from the media circus formed with his judgment.

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