Filmmaker John Waters, lovingly known as the “King of Filth,” has been shocking and amusing audiences for more than 50 years.
His cinematic contributions will be spotlighted later this year in an exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the first project of its kind in Waters’ career.
“Known for pushing the boundaries of ‘good taste,’ John Waters has created a canon of high shock-value, high-entertainment movies that have cemented his position as one of the most revered independent auteurs in the history of American movies,” co-curators Jenny He and Dara Jaffe said in a press release about the exhibit.
“A massive inspiration to other artists who rebelled against the mainstream, Waters’ renegade films are replete with muses and themes derived from obsession and celebrity culture,” He and Jafe said. “They lovingly draw inspiration from Herschell Gordon Lewis, Russ Meyer, Andy Warhol, and Ingmar Bergman alike, and are also tributes to his hometown of Baltimore.”
“Pope of Trash” will be on view from Sept. 17 to Aug. 4, 2024.
It will explore Waters’ process, themes, and movie-making style and include costumes, props, handwritten scripts, correspondence and memos, scrapbooks, and photographs.
The exhibition “will reveal the nuance and detail of how independent films are made and how Waters’ movies have redefined the possibilities of independent cinema,” the statement said.
The Academy Museum’s Warner Bros. gallery features a media installation surveying works from the American Avant-garde and New Queer Cinema, contextualizing Waters’ films within contemporary and subsequent film movements.
Waters’ daring dismissal of social norms and the status quo has been celebrated and adored by audiences for more than 50 years in numerous films: “Pink Flamingos” (1972), “Female Trouble” (1974), “Desperate Living” (1977), “Hairspray” (1988), “Serial Mom” (1994), and “A Dirty Shame” (2004).
“Pink Flamingos” was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2021.
The following year, “Hairspray” was also named to the list by the Librarian of Congress, in recognition of its significance to American cinematic heritage.