John Waters: Pope of Trash
Anointed the “Pope of Trash” by William S. Burroughs in 1986, DIY filmmaker, author, contemporary art collector, fashion icon, and self-proclaimed “filth elder” John Waters (b. 1946) is the very definition of a self-made American iconoclast. Inspired by showman William Castle, early exploitation producer Kroger Babb, and underground experimental filmmakers such as the Kuchar Brothers (George and Mike, featured in our Available Space series on Friday, September 22), Waters’s anti-establishment vision is crystal clear from his first 8mm short, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket (1964), to his most recent film, A Dirty Shame (2004). Serving as director and writer for each of his films—and as producer, cinematographer, and editor on his first eight—Waters never fails to push the boundaries of good taste and challenge traditional institutions with every artistic endeavor, including his much-anticipated annual Artforum top 10 lists and his one-man show, This Filthy World.
The Academy Museum opens a first-of-its-kind exhibition, John Waters: Pope of Trash, on September 17, and presents this accompanying retrospective screening series, kicking off with an ultra-rare screening of Eat Your Makeup (1968) presented with live commentary from Waters, and Serial Mom (1994) on 35mm with John Waters in attendance.