John Waters: masterclass

I Am Divine This Filthy World, John Waters performance + We Are Divine drag show

Although the movies made by the author of Female Trouble continue to embody campy exaggeration and fancy stylization, they also share a punk-like simplicity, grunginess and respect for authenticity, understood in a particular manner. Waters and his entourage, the crew of oddballs met in the shabby bars and seedy neighborhoods of Baltimore, who christened themselves Dreamlanders, made movies in the same way in which they lived – chaotically, intensely, against the bourgeois morality. However, the works of the author of Polyester would not be half as interesting, nor would have they withstood the test of time so well, had they been limited merely to an angry negation of the existing reality. The most subversive dimension of John Waters’s movies, and also the most dangerous one from the point of view of the defenders of the old order, seems to be their affirmative aspect, proving that it is possible to lead a happy, fulfilled life while living on the margins of society.

Piotr Czerkawski
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