We talk writer/director John Waters with Richelle Charkot – The Programming Director at The Royal Cinema and the curator of the upcoming This Filthy John Waters Retrospective.
For more information on the retrospective check out: newsite.theroyal.to/movies
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Where to start with John Waters?
“A suburban housewife’s world falls apart when her pornographer husband admits he’s serially unfaithful to her, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who’s been breaking local women’s feet.” – IMDB
Female Trouble (1974)
“A spoiled schoolgirl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes.” – IMDB
“A teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.” – IMDB
GATEWAYS TO CINEPHILIA
Tyler wrote to the podcast this week to ask:
“I find it amazing when you both talk about becoming avid movies fans at such young ages. I am 29 and just started to give into my love of cinema over the past few years. The sheer volume of great or important movies gives me choice paralyses at times and I can waste hours just trying to decide what to watch!
So – are you both able to put together a top 10 (or top 5) list of “starting point” movies? Movies that will start someone down various paths of discovery? Hopefully, this is different from a favorite movie list in some meaningful way.”
For more information on this topic, listen to the letters section of the ‘This Filthy John Waters’
This is an off-the-top-of-my-head list, which is longer than the listener is asking for. Sharing with you so we can avoid overlap.
- City Lights, The General – introductions to silent/classic cinema
- Aguirre: The Wrath of God, The Seventh Seal, A Man Escaped – entry-points to European art cinema
- Rashomon, Chungking Express, Drunken Master – entry-points into Asian cinema
- Black Girl, Sholay – entry-points into other parts of the world
- Eraserhead, Female Trouble – as entry-points into the avant-garde (this could lead you to Warhol, the Kuchar Bros., new queer cinema)
- Rio Bravo, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Within Our Gates, Duck Soup, Ms. 45 – miscellaneous entry-points, each opening their own worlds of discovery
I picked 10 films that are a little lesser known to represent a whole bunch of diverse topics I enjoy, principally because I think there’s a stress that comes associated with watching ‘the classics’, and I would often put them off because of their stature. Sometimes it’s the side-entrances that are more accommodating than walking through the cavernous front doors.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)- A firm example that early cinema can be as inventive and awe-inspiring as anything today- and it’s a feature-length animated film directed by a woman – an unfortunate rarity to this day.
Further Research into Silent Cinema :
F.W Murnau’s Faust
The Phantom Carriage
King Vidor’s The Crowd
Zazie Dans Le Metro (1960) – The French New Wave may seem intellectually daunting, but almost all of those films have a playfulness in their form – plainly seen in Zazie – a precursor to the Zucker Bros comedy.
Further Research into the French New Wave (ish):
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Cleo de 5 a 7
Chicken with Vinegar.
The Big Clock (1948) – A gateway film noir. Slick, self-contained, but creaky enough for it to add an extra layer of charm.
Further Research into Noir:
The Last Seduction
Night and the City
A Bittersweet Life
Godzilla vs the Hedorah (1971) – The Outliner Godzilla that has all the classic elements at their weirdest.
Further Research into Godzilla:
Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Godzilla: Final Wars
Dirty Ho (1976) – A good gateway to the rhythms of Shaw Bros martial arts and Hong Kong Action Cinema
Further Research into Hong Kong Action:
The Prodigal Son
Last Year at Marienbad (1961) – A good entry into ‘art’ cinema that proves that you don’t have to ‘get it’ to find it dazzling.
Further research into the Art-house Canon:
The Cranes are Flying
Paris, Texas (1981): Harry Dean Stanton’s masterpiece and a great damn road movie.
Further Research into the Road Movie:
The Sure Thing
The Great Silence (1968) – The revisionist western at its most serious and artful.
Further Research into the Revisionist Western :
The Quick and the Dead
Tears of the Black Tiger
Save the Green Planet (2003) – One of the most eccentric and dynamic debut of the 2000’s – emotional, fantastical and never not captivating. South Korea still produces new movies all the time, but no one talks about them enough.
Further Research into South Korean Cinema
Watermelon Woman (1996) – Cheryl Dunye’s meditation on the role of Black women in cinema is a vital piece of work that never got its due. A surface level CLERKS, as they both share the video store setting, but this one is much more satisfying and thoughtful.
Further Research into Cinephilia Cinema
The Bad and the Beautiful
Crime Wave (1985)