Female Trouble

John Waters, USA 1974, 89’
Pink Flamingos Hairspray

If the opening credits end with a dedication to a member of Manson’s Family, and one of the very first scenes features a teenage protagonist kicking up a row during the Christmas dinner, destroying the present and toppling the tree on her own mother, there is no doubt about it: it’s a John Waters flick. The middle part of the famous Trash Trilogy(which also includes Pink Flamingos and Desperate Living), Female Trouble is both a parody of the family melodrama and a subversive tale of crime and fame. The story of Dawn Davenport (played by Divine), who seeks applause by committing increasingly elaborate offences, is a typically Watersian provocation. The director first makes the audience laugh until they cry, only to challenge their well-being a moment later. In Female Trouble, using the example of Dawn’s relationship with her fans, the director argues that in practice, a seemingly innocent fascination with excesses, violence and transgression is tantamount to complicity in crime.

phot. © 1974 WBEI

Piotr Czerkawski

John Waters

Born in 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since childhood interested in macabre and black humour, he completed one semester of a film school in New York. His amateur films shot with friends exhibited conscious violation of moral and aesthetic standards (Mondo TrashoMultiple Maniacs). His Pink Flamingos was a great commercial success, enabling him to make higher-budget movies, the most popular of which was  Hairspray, adapted to a Brodway musical and to a high-budget remake with John Travolta. Waters is also a stand-up comedian and actor appearing in films of his friends.

Selected filmography

1969 Mondo Trasho

1970 Multiple Maniacs

1972 Różowe flamingi / Pink Flamingos

1974 Kobiece kłopoty / Female Trouble

1988 Lakier do włosów / Hairspray

1994 W czym mamy problem? / Serial Mom

Cast & Crew

director John Waters
screenplay John Waters
cinematography John Waters
editing Charles Roggero, John Waters
cast Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce
producer John Waters
production Dreamland
sales Park Circus
language English
coloration colour
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