You know what’s cool about ancient Greek mythology? It looks good on almost anyone. Even 21st-century French people, as you’ll see in Christophe Honoré’s new film Metamorphoses. It’s actually based on a really old poem–but you already knew that by the film’s title right? Metamorphoses (the original) dates to about 8 AD when this Roman dude named Ovid fused bits from more than 250 existing Greek mythos together to create a pretty wacky piece of non-linear literature that defies the standard didactic, A-to-B tellings that were popular back then. Thankfully, Ovid’s story is every bit as riveting as the OG mythos, which are always chock-full gore, guts, adultery, betrayal and, of course, horny gods mingling with orgy-prone mortals.
Last week, when we saw John Waters at Powerhouse Arena, the “People’s Pervert” mentioned he’d be giving a commencement address at the Rhode Island School of Design. He wasn’t kidding. Saturday, the man who left NYU after he was thrown out of his dorm for smoking pot told RISD’s Class of 2015, “Who would’ve ever thought a top college like RISD would invite a filth elder like myself to set an example to its students?” Watch the video to hear Waters dispense advice like the following.
When I stopped by the Marianne Boesky Gallery on an exceedingly chilly Saturday afternoon, just one day after the opening of John Waters’ Beverly Hills John exhibition– the raunchy filmmaker’s been featured in a number of solo shows across the country since 2000– the place was packed with an awkward mix of tourists and people who seemed to be in the know. One woman snapped a photo of a sculpture depicting a mini-living room, a memorial dedicated to the late Mike Kelley, an artists who continues to be an inspiration to Waters. In a speech given at UCLA, Waters dubbed Kelley a “terrorist and a hero.”
Our list of the films worth seeing around town this week and beyond
How Anna Got Her Groove Back: Karina After Godard
Spectacle Theatre is hosting a month-long look at the lesser known work of French New Wave icon Anna Karina. The actress is best known for her roles in Godard films. But after her brief marriage to the filmmaker ended, she moved on to more varied roles and worked with legendary filmmakers such as Visconti and Fassbinder. Spectacle has chosen three films starring Karina: Anna (“a radiant pop musical”), Rendezvous a Bray (an erotic drama based on a short story by surrealist Julien Gracq), and The Time To Die (a sci-fi thriller). Starting Friday, September 5th and screening until September 30, various showtimes at Spectacle Theatre, 124 S 3rd Street in Williamsburg; tickets, $5 at the door
Three out-there filmmakers are getting out of the directors chair and into the hot seat next month.
John Waters in conversation with Dennis Dermody and J Hoberman
Sept. 5 and 11, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65 Street
After regaling us with his Christmas list, the filmmaker who shocked/delighted the world with the poo-eating in Pink Flamingos is having a retrospective at Lincoln Center that will include a rare scratch-n-sniff screening of Polyester. The whole shebang kicks off Sept. 5 with a screening of Female Trouble, followed by a conversation between Waters and film critic J Hoberman.
SantaCon wasn’t the only depraved holiday tradition to hit Manhattan this past weekend, thank goodness: John Waters brought his Christmas tour to Stage 48 on Friday. Sporting a jazzy, snazzy Comme des Garçons outfit that he wouldn’t let an audience member touch (she tried), the mini-mustachioed director of Female Trouble (playing at Nitehawk this week) jumped into stories about the late, great Divine, tackled hairy issues like the “pubic-hair generation gap” (“I went to court so you could see bush; now there isn’t any!”) and wasted no time crapping on one of his most oft-quoted lines (turns out Waters would fuck someone if they didn’t have books — as long as they were cute).
Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.
All punk rockers were not alike. From blue-collar rockers to art school grads, the CBGBs crowd ran the New York gamut: diverse, passionate and extremely opinionated. But there was one thing everyone agreed on. Everybody loved Divine.
Born Harris Glenn Milstead, Divine was dubbed “Drag Queen of the Century” by People magazine after appearing in 10 films by John Waters. Here’s how much downtowners adored Divine: In April, 1978, The Neon Women, a play written by Tom Eyen, opened at Hurrah’s, a nightclub on West 62 Street. Starring Divine as Flash Storm, a retired stripper, it was loosely based on Gypsy Rose Lee’s detective novel, “The G String Murders.” Downtowners actually crossed 14th Street to see it, traveling uptown in droves. More →