year draws to a close. There are quite a few news items this month, so strap
off, let's hear it for Susan Tyrell (pictured at left). She's doing much
better since her surgery in April. You can read more about her "so-called
rotten life" in this LA
A fund has been established to help "SuSu" with her ongoing
medical needs, rehabilitation and care. Checks should be made payable
A Sweet Account
c/o 2415 S. Santa Fe Ave., No. 11
Los Angeles, CA 90058.
Thanks to Noel for the tip and Eric for the picture.
Guy Mazzaglia reports that Waters gave a lecture at the Ft Lauderdale
film fest on Nov 3. Also in attandance was Frances Milstead (Divine's
From an article
by Erin Torneo: "Someone just said to me, 'You've had bush and gore
in your movies,' which I thought was funny," said John Waters. Getting
the festival off to a rollicking start, Waters offered reflections on
his early career, the current state of indie film, and even voting tips
to an audience that included Secretary of State Katherine Harris.
reports that John was in the UK on Nov 6th lecturing at Oxford University
Union. "It was a surreal experience; rich kids in tuxedos drinking
Stella Artois from plastic cups. John was hilarious, as usual, then they
showed CECIL B DEMENTED on a screen in the very uncinema-like drafty hall.
CBD opens here Dec 8 on a very small release. John's also written about
his favourite movies of the year. I seem to remember they include L'Humanite,
American Psycho, Dancer In The Dark and Virgin Suicides ('Who would've
thought Sofia Coppola would remind me of Cocteau?!' - JW).
Damon also reports that "John is unaware of - or perhaps a little
willingly blind to the Net: he says his father told him about the John
Waters Worship Page and he was mortified." Well, I was mortified
by the JW Worship page too. Stick to Dreamland, folks. It's the real thing.
reports: "John Waters fans should be excited by three successive 2-packs
of Waters work on DVD, which will then be available as a box set once
all three waves are released. The films include Pecker, Pink Flamingos,
Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Hairspray and Polyester (complete with,
yes, scratch and sniff card.) All these titles are being remastered (except
for the already released Pecker)."
Uh-oh - Melanie
"My doctor has referred me to the Daniel Freeman Hospital to step down
from the prescribed medication that I have been taking for a neck injury,"
Griffith said in a statement released to reporters. "I appreciate everyone's
concern, and I am sure that you will respect my and my family's privacy.
With love, Melanie." A hospital spokeswoman would not comment on Griffith's
treatment, except to tell Reuters that patients at the nonprofit Catholic
facility (in the Marina Del Rey area of Los Angeles) generally go through
a 12-step in-house program. [Reuters contributed to this story.]
And now for
the sad news... Atomic
Books in Baltimore is closing. In the past, I have referred fans to
them as a way to get in touch with Mr. Waters. I'm sorry, but I do not
have any other contact information for John at this time.
in a new movie called Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story. Brigid
(a.k.a Brigid Polk) was an actress in some of Andy Warhol's most famous
Factory era films, such as CHELSEA GIRLS, BAD, IMITIATION OF CHRIS, BIKE
BOY, THE LOVES OF ONDINE AND NUDE RESTAURANT. She had cameos in Pecker
and Serial Mom.
Magazine interviews Mink this month - her advice column Think
Mink has been picked up by Baltimore's
City Paper - and she will be appearing in a new MTV soap opera called
Spyder Games which will start airing in January 2001. BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER,
in which she plays Natasha Lyonne's homophobic mom, has just come out
on video. Two shorts featuring mink, BIRDS DIE, and HE BOP, have been
playing film festivals around the county. Look for them.
from DC, we have Dreamland contributor Alana
Miller's report from John Waters' lecture at George Washington University.
Paula Tribull points us towards an article about Divine in the Baltimore
Sun celebrating his birthday. Peter Avellino reports on an interview
with JW from the Digital Video Trade Show where he was keynote speaker
on 10/4 at PostIndustry.com.
month I'm gonna catch y'all up on some of the press JW got over throughout
the summer. John takes us on a tour of Baltimore porn theaters and drive-ins
thanks to a recent New
York Times Magazine article. He also gave a cool interview this month
in gay-porn mag HONCHO
with their editor - discussing, what else - PORNO! And for their 10th
anniversary, gay guide METROSOURCE asked John Ten
Questions. Legendary Dreamlander Mary Vivian Pearce contributed "The
Cinematic Unabomber" - about Dreamland costumer Van Smith - to
PAPER last month. And be sure to check out Joe Blevins' updated guide
to the music in JW's films. Another
zine which I don't have, but you can pick up on newsstands right now is
BUST in which JW is listed
as one of the Men They Love!
And remember that John will be lecturing in Washington, D.C. on October
18. Check out Ticketmaster
for more info.
Erik Weber reports that there is a new book by Jerry Stiller called MARRIED
TO LAUGHTER in which there are several pages about HAIRSPRAY and Divine!
Stiller, who played Divine's husband and father of Tracy Turnblad, wrote
fondly about Divine and seemed very emotional when discussing Divine's
untimely death, attending the funeral and meeting Divine's mother.
B. DEMENTED is now in general release throughout the US - check your local
listings! The soundtrack hit stores in mid-August. It features the opening
theme by Moby, a couple hip-hop tracks by DJ Class, crunching thrash from
Locust and Meatjack - and even a song by Liberace! Get it online at CDNOW.
Or if you prefer Amazon...
of Melanie Griffith was taken from PAPER
magazine who did a great profile on her for their September issue. They
also had an article written by original Dreamland star Mary Vivian pearce
about Van Smith who has been John's costumer from the beginning. Melanie
has her own website now. Check her out at melaniegriffith.com.
Lanky14 reports that the Aug 20 edition of Newsweek included a short interview
with John and Patty in which John discusses his next project all about
sex addicts. Now you know this sounds amazing! SALON
magazine reports on an upcoming documentary about the San Francisco performance
group The Cockettes.
Divine performed with them from time to time, and an interview with John
will undoubtedly be included in the film.
Tribull reports "went to the Charles theatre to see CBD again and
had to laugh when the marquee said CECIL B DEMENTED RIP MARY AVARA. Mary
was the secertary of the Maryland state censor board. She was never a
John Waters fan." To say the least, Paula. Mary can be seen in all
her loathsome glory in Steve Yeager's documentary, DIVINE TRASH. Regarding
Waters, she was quoted as saying "I wipe him from under my feet"!
sure to check out our FANS section for
a couple new additions. There's an update from Alana Miller with pictures
from her nite at the CBD premiere. I started the Dreamland Fans section
a couple years ago when a girl named EVE SEVERE sent me a photo of her
John Waters tattoo. Well, it turns out that she was the inspiration behind
CBD's Sprocket Holes' tattoos of infamous directors. Way to go Eve! And
in the IN PRINT section there are new
interviews from NYC's Next
be lecturing in Washington, D.C. on October 18. Although I hate to link
- you can get more info from them. And Candy from Boston reports that
every weekend during the month of September, the Coolidge
Corner Theatre in Brookline will be having a JW film festival - each
friday and saturday night, at midnight.
For the New
York premiere of CBD, PAPER magazine threw a bash with all kinds of cool
celebs. Check out the pictures from
PAPER and HX here. And in the NEW YORK POST's "What I Watch"
column, they reported on his favorite TV show: "The Corner on HBO.
It's the best show on television that I've watched all year. All white
people should be forced to watch it."
And on a
sad note, Erik Weber reports that Susan Tyrrell (who played Ramona Rickets
in Cry Baby) had an operation in May to remove the bottom half of both
her legs. A blood disease had stopped the circulation in her legs. Our
best wishes go out to you, Susan!
- CECIL B. DEMENTED - a limited release in major cities begins August
Sun reports: 'DeMented' items on the Auction block: Artifacts from
'Cecil B. DeMented' will go on sale next week at Amazon.com. ...a number
of props, costumes and accessories from the new John Waters movie will
be on view on Amazon.com,
and will be auctioned on Aug. 18. [Cecil's branding iron; several outfits
worn by the radical filmmaker's band of pranksters; a bathrobe, gown and
pair of shoes worn by Melanie Griffith; an eyelash curler and a dog collar]
The auction will be held through Aug. 31. Proceeds will benefit the Prisoners
Aid Association of Maryland Inc., a social services organization that
provides housing, job training and counseling to inmates and ex-offenders.
(Thanks for the tip, Paula).
World Premiere was held on August 2 at Baltimore's Senator
Theatre. As usual, the premiere was a benefit for AIDS
Action Baltimore. Ticket holders were invited to a Gala Party after
the screening. Check out Dreamland's Exclusive
Report from the Premiere from Jeff, Jim and Alana.
the JohnWaters&Co list at egroups
reports the following tidbit from IMDB:
Who's Demented? To promote his latest movie, Cecil B. Demented, writer-director
John Waters is sending out promotional "Cinema Terrorism Kits" with the
words "Stop the mass distribution of mediocre movies" and "Death to those
who are cinematically incorrect" printed on the outside. As reported in
[the] New York Post, the packages include glass capsules containing ammonium
sulfide (stink bombs), rope, a book of knots, duct tape, a picket sign,
a rubber tomato, a water gun and a megaphone.
was featured on Comedy
Central's show Canned Ham - a behind the scenes of CBD. John, Patricia
Hearst and Stephen Dorff also appeared on an episode of Politically Incorrect
with Bill Maher where they discussed (duh, what else?) politics! And John
appeared on Conan O'Brien's show Friday the 11th.
graces the cover of MEAN
magazine which features an interview with the auteur, a run-down of all
his movies with behind-the-scenes insight from Mink Stole, a fashion spread
of CECIL B's Sprocket Holes, and bio's of the directors who influenced
Cecil and his gang. JW is also featured this month in OUT,
Genre, The Boston Globe, Filmmaker Magazine, HX and countless other publications.
If you have good press on Mr Waters that you'd like to share, email
John is featured on the cover of IFC's new RANT magazine this month. The
interview is accessible through their site at ifcrant.com.
July also sees the release of Steve Yeager's documentary, DIVINE TRASH
on VHS and DVD, so if you missed it in the theaters, now's your chance!
Ads and trailers
for CECIL B. DEMENTED are cropping up around US cities in anticipation
of it's release next month. Reports have it that old-school Dreamlanders
Mary Vivian Pearce and Susan Lowe have cameos. Other newer Dreamlanders
(folks who have been in more than one of JW's recent features) round out
Mann reports that dvdfile.com has a listing for an upcoming John Waters
DVD collection, which according to them will contain the following 6 films:
Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Female Trouble, Polyester, Hairspray
a clip from CECIL B. DEMENTED at France's Canal
Plus website. Just click on the link to the Cannes Film Festival.
Who knew Melanie Griffith could be such a cunt!
And be sure to visit DEMENTED
FORVER - the official website for CBD. You can hear three tracks from
the soundtrack (hardcore hip hop songs "Bankable Bitch" "No
Budget" and "Demented Forever"), witness a Flash animated
version of Honey Whitlock's abduction, take the Demented Personality Test,
read Cecil's manifesto and bios of the Sprocket Holes.
John appeared at the Michigan
Pride Fest on June 17 - check out Grizelda's report in Dreamland's
And a new
movie called BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER, featuring a cameo by our very own
MINK STOLE opens this month at the New York Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
Look for it in your local gay film fests in the months to come.
amazing what you can do with a cheap piece of meat if you know how to
Paul Bartel - Dead at 61
Queer film maker and Brooklyn native Paul Bartel died last month on May
18th. He directed 11 films and appeared in over 70. He is most notorious
for EATING RAOUL, but also directed the brilliant SCENES FROM A CLASS
STRUGGLE IN BEVERLY HILLS and the Divine vehicle LUST IN THE DUST. I believe
he had liver cancer. He continued to make movies until his death and can
be seen in the upcoming mod-shakespeare version of HAMLET starring a bevy
of buggerable boys (Ethan Hawke, Casey Affleck etc).
month will see the debut of John Waters' new feature CECIL B. DEMENTED
at the Cannes
Film Festival. It's being screened out-of-competition which means
it will not be eligible for any awards. Check out the link for stills
from the movie and more!
Weekly has this to say about CBD:
For dyed-in-the-Polyester fans of Waters, DeMented may seem something
of a departure. "It's my action epicDie Hard for the Hollywood
impaired," says the director, who named the film after himself"Cecil
B. Demented" is a nickname given to Waters by a journalist.
Dorff stars as Cecil, who leads a band of "cinema terrorists"
in kidnapping a big-time Tinseltown starlet (Griffith) at her latest premiere
and forcing her to star in their own underground film. And just in case
you're worried that Waters has gone too mainstream, he assures us that
DeMented is "the craziest film I've done in years."
Indeed, in the estimated $10 million production, the terrorists envision
punishing the public for their poor attendance at a Pasolini film festival,
the usual Waters suspects (like Lake and Hearst) make their appearances,
and Witt, playing an exporn star, has an intimate scene with, as
Waters puts it, "a little furry creature."
Despite the on-screen mayhem, says Dorff, the two-month shoot "was
a lot less zany than I thought it'd be. John's very old-fashioned Hollywood;
drives to the set dressed in those suits, the Teamsters park his car,
and everything is two takes."
Waters made a selection for the Maryland
Film Festival, as he does every year. The festival takes place in
the last weekend of April and this year his selection was Lodge Kerrigan's
CLEAN, SHAVEN starring Peter Green as a schizophrenic father in the midst
of a crisis. Waters says "there is not the slightest bit of irony in my
selection this year," which seems funny, but probably isn't supposed to
from Atomic Books reports that John has "finished recording new commentary
for DVDs that are coming out in the near future. Since another company
bought the rights (I think he said Fine Line or New Line) he had to record
new commentary for Pink Flamingos, Polyester and I think even Serial Mom.
Pecker commentary stays the same. He said there are some good extras on
the DVD's, like a trip to Liz Renay's house, etc. but I didn't get too
reports that Atomic Books has John Waters' books back in stock! Both SHOCK
VALUE and CRACKPOT were temporarily out of stock while they underwent
new printings. But SHOCK VALUE is back in print and back in stock and
CRACKPOT ships sometime after April 19th. John Waters shops at Atomic
Books and signs EVERY copy they sell. And they'll sell 'em to you at COVER
PRICE! Call them at 410-625-7955 to order your copy, or place your order
online at: www.atomicbooks.com
. You can send fan mail to John c/o Atomic, so check out their site!
Lots of cool stuff happening all of a sudden. There's a great article
in the February/March issue of Index
Magazine written by Canadian filmmaker Bruce La Bruce with exclusive
photos of his visit to the set of Cecil B. Demeted. And the photo above
comes from a spread in Vanity Fair's March issue. Believe it or not, that's
Melanie Griffith in her Cecil B filmstrip-bondage outfit photographed
by David LaChapelle. Let's hear it for Van Smith, ladies and gentlemen!
[applause applause]. For those unfamiliar with the Dreamland team, Van
is the person responsible for most of the costumes and makeup in John's
films. Looks like he's got some good stuff in store for us in this next
strangest news this month is the possibility of Hairspray the Musical
- on Broadway no less. It was leaked after the New York Independent Film
Festival in the Times that plans are underway for a stage production of
Waters' most well-loved film. Producer Margo Lion has asked composer Marc
Shaiman (South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut) to collaborate with Rob Marshall
(Cabaret) as director. John himself would be a consultant. But an independent
source told me that Lion has a questionable history of coming through
with her promises of mounting Broadway musicals . . . although she has
actually succeeded from time to time.
you live in New York, you can check out screenings of John Waters films
on Tuesdays at Symphony
Space in New York City. Beginning on Tuesday February 22, this series
will run through April and puts Waters on double-bills with his Spanish
contemporary Pedro Almodovar. Another treat for New Yorkers, this past
weekend's Times Magazine featured an amazing photo spread called The
Big Remake. The idea was Fourteen Directors, One Question: "If
you could cast any contemporary actress in any role, what would it be?"
John Waters chose Lil' Kim as Diana Ross in Mahogany. "Why not recast
the imperiously glamorous Diana Ross with the stunningly red-hot Lil'
Kim for a much raunchier hip-hop version of this much-maligned cinema
howler?" Below is the genius photo of her as Diana, next to a shot
of former Waters-leading lady Christina Ricci, who incidentally was chosed
by Almodovar to take Bette Davis' place in Jezebel!
you may have heard, Waters had a part in Woody Allen's latest flick which
is still in theaters. Here's a quickie review from Chris Barton: "He's
listed in the "main cast" of the opening credits, which precedes
a "supporting cast" list of actor credits. I thought, great
- John Waters has a decent-sized part in the flick! Not so. he's in the
movie for maybe 45 seconds, playing some kind of manager or loan shark
or something of that ilk, screaming at Sean Penn about how irresponsible
he is. As short as the scene is, I couldn't help but giggle uncontrollably
at the bizarreness of John Waters popping up in a Woody Allen film! Screeching
at Sean Penn with his BAL'MER accent, at that! The movie's fun on its
own merits, but Waters fans will appreciate the cameo, short as it is.
In other news, Moby has been slated to contribute music to Cecil B. Demented.
CD Now Allstar News reports: Moby's people have been on a licensing frenzy
lately. He has music in such movies as Any Given Sunday, Play It to the
Bone, The Beach, as well as upcoming Madonna and Julia Roberts films,
and the upcoming wacky treat from one of his personal favorites -- John
Moby tells allstar that he was initially up for scoring the movie, but
his touring and recording schedule didn't allow time for that. "I've
put a self-imposed moratorium on all outside work, but I really wanted
to do the John Waters film. I've been a fan since Pink Flamingos, so I'm
going to maybe write the music in the opening credits," he says.
Moby says he plans to work on the music for Cecil B. Demented after his
European tour, which wraps up in late February. He's not sure yet if his
contribution will be an instrumental piece, or a "song" song,
or a combination of the two.
Wendorf, the Director of the Chicago Underground Film Festival, was gracious
enough to email me a copy of this year's Holiday Greeting card from John
Waters. For those who don't know, every year, Mr. Waters goes to great
lengths to make the season a little brighter by mailing out a very original
card to a select list of people. Roll over the image to see the other
side. And please check out the Chicago Underground Film Fest online at
more news about what's been going on, check out the news from 1999 just
below. Lots about John's upcoming production of Cecil B. Demented!