Monday, October 17, 2011

Perverted is not a synonym for filthy.

And neither is bitchy. Or boring. In a pre-post chat, my partner-in-crime gave me a heads up that there is a serious failure in imagination re: the filthiness of Divine and her nemeses. And boy was she right. What the two parties do to each other and themselves didn't strike me as filthy so much as what an adolescent boy might think was gross and/or titillating. And you just buy yourself trouble when you have the "filthiest person in the world" in your movie, and then try to illustrate said filthiness. It's always going to fail. It's like making Ryan Gosling the best pick-up artist in the world, and then showing him pick people up. It's better to just let people's imaginations fill in the blanks.

Of course, if John Waters had done that, he wouldn't have had a story to tell. The characters were all cartoons, and there was this semi-disturbing misogynistic undertone which is odd for a movie celebrating drag. As I noted in the blurb, I was really dreading this one, and maybe it's because I looked away during all the parts I thought would trigger my gag reflex, but it wasn't nearly as hard to watch as I thought. Well, it was "hard" to watch something so amateurish and unpolished. It's clear that Divine is a brilliant entertainer, and my favorite parts were her clearly just riffing. But it's so unlike the shiny Waters movies I've seen previously.

I'm guessing that maybe, for its time, Pink Flamingos was shocking or boundary testing? I know it has this cult following, and for that reason I'm glad I watched it, but I rolled my eyes more often than I dropped my jaw.

1 comment:

  1. Good point--"bitchy" and "boring" are probably the antithesis of "filthy."

    Can we just have a movie about Ryan Gosling picking people up? Preferably just him talking to camera? Just for research :)