John Waters: This Filthy World

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Jeff Garlin
John Waters

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/09/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Waters makes an immensely entertaining host, even if the film is basically just a recording of his admittedly hilarious solo show.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), John Waters: This Filthy World is a recording of John Waters' own solo show, which he toured around universities last year. In it, he talks candidly about his films, his life, his friendship with Divine, his beloved Baltimore and society in general.

The Good
Given the nature of the show, Garlin's direction basically consists of pointing the camera at John Waters while he's on stage and occasionally cutting to an uncomfortable-looking college audience, so it's left to Waters himself to hold our interest. Fortunately, he proves to be a highly entertaining host, rattling off several amusing anecdotes and telling some delightfully filthy jokes.

There is a structure of sorts, as Waters talks about his early influences (the Wicked Witch of the West, Captain Hook, the rarely seen in the UK Evil Little Girl classic The Bad Seed) and then talks through all of his films in turn - his favourite of his own films turns out to be, surprisingly, Female Trouble, about a woman (Divine) who dreams of achieving fame via capital punishment.

The Great
Throughout the film, Waters is frequently hilarious, whether delivering a brilliantly obscene punchline to a routine about Michael Jackson, discussing deviant sexual practices (trust me, you don't want to know what blossoming is), talking about his friendship with Divine (aka Harris Glenn Milstead) or ruminating on Hollywood, e.g. wondering why Charlize Theron never thanked Aileen Wuornos in her Oscar acceptance speech for Monster.

Worth seeing?
Waters is extremely entertaining and the film is both thought-provoking and consistently hilarious throughout its 86 minutes. John Waters: This Filthy World is a treat for Waters fans, but newcomers to his work will find something to enjoy too. Recommended.

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Content updated: 26/01/2020 22:08

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