John Waters Mega-Show Planned for Academy Museum
|Divine and Tab Hunter in John Waters' Polyester, 1981|
When they arrived at his studio, the curators huddled with Waters to share one idea for the entryway to the exhibition.
“So we know that you want people to get a bit of a shock when they first walk in,” [curator Dara] Jaffe said, as Waters nodded. “And we know how much you love showmanship and gimmicks.” The idea, she said, would be to create the inside of a church, with a montage of Waters films spooling near the altar. The pews — “the movie seats” — would be equipped with hidden buzzers to “give them a literal shock” as they sat down, she explained.
“Can you make that work?” Waters exclaimed. “That would be great!”
But my favorite outré picture of that era has got to be Paul Morrissey's 1970 "Trash."
In the movie the legendary trans actress who plays Holly Woodlawn asks her co-star who plays Joe for his help to carry home a chest of drawers she found in front of a church. She tells Joe that it's worth something because: "these nuns, they don't do nothin' cheap." And she suggests they rob the poor box, but Joe (an impotent heroin addict) is in no condition to help.