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John Waters Movie Fest' 2018

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by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
Ambassador of cult movies screens two Waters rarities
John, waters, movie, cinema, film, fest, festival, cult, Brisbane, metro, arts
John Waters (back row, sixth from left) with the Cast of Desperate Living

When a world-famous auteur such as John Waters dubs you "Ambassador of Cult Movies", you know you've got to be doing something right. Kristian Fletcher is Brisbane's cult movie ambassador and he's definitely doing something right in my books! He's returned the compliment to John Waters by way of a film festival in the cult movie-maker's honour. This is the third year that Kristian will bring some of Waters' most underground and hard-to-come-by movies on the big screen.

"It's great having a personal message from John saying 'Thank you for screening my movies in Brisbane," says Kristian, who is screening two wonderfully shocking movies, Female Trouble and Desperate Living at the Metro Arts in April. Kristian tells us that during the 1980s, Metro Arts was the only cinema in Brisbane that would screen John Waters' films.

Sound good? Here are the important details

Double feature of the 1970s John Waters cult movie rarities Female Trouble and Desperate Living
Wednesday 11 April 2018 6.30pm
Metro Arts, 109 Edward St Brisbane City
Tickets $15.00-20.00 per person (18 and over event)
Book now at

John, waters, movie, cinema, film, fest, festival, cult, Brisbane, metro, arts
Looks Like Female Trouble to Me!

Never Heard of John Waters? Guuurrrl Puhlease!

Most mainstream movie-goers would know John's writing work from the 2007 screenplay for Hairspray. Some may not know that John had written and directed a more subversive (and in my opinion superior) version of the script way back in 1988. Even that was considered 'mainstream' by John's standards. The Baltimore-born filmmaker already had eleven scandalous movies under his belt when the first version of Hairspray came along. He has continued working into the 2000s, with some films finding more of a balance between cult and mainstream than those from his earlier years. All are still sexy and funny with that recognisable Waters quirk I so adore.

In the 1970s and into the 80s John mostly worked with a group of actors referred to as the 'Dreamlanders'. The group included Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, David Lochary, and Mary Vivian Pearce – all of whom can be seen in Female Trouble. He was also known for casting convicted criminals such as Patty Hearst and Liz Renay and even porn stars like Traci Lords.

John, waters, movie, cinema, film, fest, festival, cult, Brisbane, metro, arts
Divine Looking Divine in Female Trouble

Female Trouble and Desperate Living are two of the only Waters films I've never seen. Since Kristian knows these films better than I, here's how he described the movies on show…

Following the success of John Waters' infamous Pink Flamingos (1972), the director released two equally-shocking and perverse movies during the Seventies...

A spoiled schoolgirl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes. Starring cult icon Divine.

A neurotic woman murders her husband with the help of her maid and they escape to Mortville, a homeless community ruled over by a fascist queen. Starring Mink Stole and Edith Massey - the Egg Lady - as Queen Carlotta.

"In what could be the final Brisbane John Waters Fest
," he told me, "I can't think of a more fitting end than with the rarities Female Trouble and Desperate Living on the big screen."

You read that right folks. If you want there to be a John Waters Movie Fest in 2019, you have to get behind it this year. Tell your friends, tell your own group of Dreamlanders and bring your debauched selves into the Metro Arts to celebrate John Waters' birthday with two of his uniquely shocking and perverse films.
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Why? Enjoy a Debauched Double Feature
When: Wednesday 11 April 2018 6.30pm
Where: Metro Arts, 109 Edward St Brisbane City
Cost: Tickets $15.00-20.00 per person
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