Watch Divine Trash
- 1 hr 37 min
Divine Trash is a documentary film from the year 1998 directed by Steve Yeager. The film is a tribute to the work of the legendary Baltimore filmmaker John Waters, and it charts his journey from his early underground days as a struggling artist to his breakthrough success with the film Hairspray. The documentary presents an intimate look into the world of Waters and his early collaborators, including his childhood friends and frequent stars of his early films, Cookie Mueller and Edith Massey. The film is packed with never-before-seen footage and photographs, as well as interviews with Waters and his family, friends, and colleagues.
One of the main themes of the documentary is the concept of "divine trash." Waters believes that there is a certain beauty and artistry in things that are considered lowbrow, vulgar, or trashy. He often incorporates these elements into his films, creating a unique and distinctive style that has earned him a cult following.
The film also explores Waters' relationship with his parents, especially his father, whom he credits with giving him the drive and determination to succeed. John Waters Sr. was a successful businessman who valued hard work and perseverance, and he instilled these values in his son from a young age. However, Waters' rebellious nature and unconventional artistic pursuits caused friction between him and his father, and the documentary delves into this complex relationship.
Throughout the film, we see how Waters' early years as a filmmaker were fraught with challenges and setbacks. He struggled to find funding for his films, often resorting to unconventional means such as performing in drag shows to make ends meet. His films were also controversial and often faced censorship and opposition from conservative groups.
Despite these obstacles, Waters continued to push forward with his art, and over time he gained a devoted following of fans who recognized his unique talent and vision. The documentary features interviews with several of these fans, including actors Ricki Lake and Mink Stole, who share their memories of first discovering Waters' work and the impact it had on their own lives.
Overall, Divine Trash is a fascinating and engaging portrait of one of cinema's most iconic and influential filmmakers. Through its exploration of Waters' life and work, the film offers a window into the underground art scene of 1960s Baltimore and the ways in which creativity can thrive even in the most unlikely of places. Whether you're a longtime fan of John Waters or a newcomer to his work, this documentary is sure to be a must-see for anyone interested in the history of independent film.