Sunday, January 11, 2015

The best news I've heard in a while: John Waters' 'Kiddie Flamingos'

Child thespians imitate Mink Stole and David Lochary in John Waters' Kiddie Flamingos.

John Waters has not directed a movie in ten years. This is the biggest-ever gap in his filmography, eclipsing even the seven-year drought between Polyester and Hairspray in the 1980s. It hasn't been for lack of trying, however. Waters just hasn't been able to convince anyone to give him the money, especially since his last two efforts (Cecil B. Demented and A Dirty Shame) were not exactly box office bonanzas. In 2008, he seemed on the verge of finally making Fruitcake, his long-promised Christmas film about a boy who "runs away from home during the holidays after he and his parents are caught shoplifting meat, then meets up with a runaway girl raised by two gay men and searching for her birth mother." The cast was to have included Parker Posey and Dirty Shame veteran Johnny Knoxville. Once again, though, the financing fell through. Waters, however, has always had backup careers. He's spent much of the last decade as a busy public speaker, author (Role Models, Carsick), and multimedia artist with dozens of solo exhibitions. Strangely enough, John's still-vital art career has temporarily revived his moribund movie directing career. His current show, cheekily titled Beverly Hills John, is running at New York's Marianne Boesky Gallery until February 14 of this year. Along with his visual art, it includes a new film called Kiddie Flamingos: A John Waters Table Read, in which children read a more family-friendly version of the script for John's 1972 cult classic, Pink Flamingos. A wonderful teaser trailer can be seen here. The kids, dressed in pint-sized versions of the costumes and wigs from the original film, really get into the spirit of the old Dreamland Studios productions, yelling and snarling at each other in the grand Waters tradition. I could not be happier about this project.

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