Sunday, January 20, 2013

Movies 101 - Pink Flamingos

Pink Flamingos – 93min – NC17

Babs Johnson (Devine) is the filthiest person alive. She lives in a trailer on the run with her mom Edie (Edith massy) and her son Crackers (Danny Mills) and her lover Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce). A local couple Raymond and Connie Marble (David Lochary and Mink Stole) want to take her title away because they are the filthiest people alive. The move goes from one rude crass scene to another and stops and takes a breath by showing something only mildly offence and then goes back to more of the rude and crass stuff. It was billed as an exercise in bad taste for good reason. Some of the list of offences it showcases are rape, kidnapping, white slavery, indecent exposure, incest, cannibalism, corophagia, drug usage, murder, arson and theft. I am sure there are others but I am having a hard time remembering them. I think it’s because my subconscious is deleting that night completely from my memory out of self preservation.

This movie was kind of put together in a “let’s see if we can film some of the most socking and vile things we can” way. Apparently John Waters (the director ,writer, producer, cameraman... everything) borrowed ten thousand dollars from his parents and got all of his friends together on the odd weekend to put together this film. It was a huge underground midnight movie success. This movie is completely and totally horrible, and I mean not from a content stand point. This is truly an amateur film that was trying to get attention by not having any talent but the ability to shock the viewers. No matter how awful this movie is you have to acknowledge that John Waters has brought us some wonderful films in his career. I think this movie shows us the starting point of his talent. He had grit to handle all aspects of making his film and did get better over time. He has made some really memorable films that have excellent messages. He is also known for his flashes of poor taste and his love of the exaggeration of the social dynamic of the fringe elements of society.

I really don’t see any historical or meaningful significance for watching this film and I think that this was added to the list of 102 films only to show the low point in cinema. Do you remember the high school joke of telling a joke that makes no sense but at the end you and all your friends laugh as it is the most hilarious joke ever told to make the new person to the group feel stupid; this is what this movie feels like and I am the new guy to the group.

My Take Away:

Film making is a journey, once you start making movies you refine your style and try new things with each film. It’s easy to make light of how bad this movie is but you have to understand it’s the predecessor to some better films from him. From Pink Flamingoes to Hairspray they are all a part of one film maker’s journey. You may not like his style of film making but his art as improved over the years. His subjects always have this hint of subculture and sarcasm. As I think about it, I am glad I saw this film. I am also glad I don’t ever have to see it again.

No comments:

Post a Comment