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2JP Home > The Movies > Commentary by Suzu

Commentary by Suzu


John Waters is a clever satirist whose use of humour purifies, rather than disguises, his anger. This is what makes many of his movies so disturbing.

For example, the infamous "rosary scene" in Multiple Maniacs is crudely, shockingly funny. It's also the single most blasphemous thing I've ever seen, and I've seen Pasolini films. What an effective jab at religious zealotry.

Similarly, Pink Flamingos, with its disgusting crime families competing for the title of "Filthiest People Alive", is a vicious satire of family values and social competition. Viewers will immediately recognize this movie's profound influence on today's grossout humour.

Waters points out our morbid fascination with criminality and our willingness to be manipulated in Female Trouble, Desperate Living, and Serial Mom. He enjoys exposing the sweaty underside of America's deodorized middle class, as in The Diane Linkletter Story and Polyester.

In case you think he's always angry, he isn't; Waters has a genuinely sweet, sunny side, expressed in the nostalgic Hairspray and Cry-Baby, and the Frank Capra-esque Pecker.

His films are often tasteless. Many have crummy production values. But there is no denying that John Waters' cheerfully vulgar humour underscores remarkable wit, intelligence, and insight.


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