Known for pushing the boundaries of good taste, John Waters (born 1946) has created a canon of high-shock-value, high-entertainment movies that have cemented his position as one of the most revered and subversive auteurs in American independent cinema. Featuring misfit muses, tributes to his hometown of Baltimore and themes of fetish, obsession and celebrity culture, his renegade films—including Pink Flamingos (1972), Female Trouble (1974), Desperate Living (1977), Hairspray(1988), Serial Mom (1994) and A Dirty Shame (2004)—are irreverent, laugh-out-loud comedies that lovingly draw inspiration from William Castle, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Russ Meyer, Andy Warhol and Pier Paolo Pasolini alike.
John Waters: Pope of Trash accompanies a landmark exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the first dedicated solely to Waters’ films. The book presents costumes, props, handwritten scripts, concept drawings, correspondence, promotional gimmicks, production photography and other original materials from all of the filmmaker’s features and shorts. Spotlighting many of his longtime collaborators, it also features a new interview with Waters and texts by curators Jenny He and Dara Jaffe, film historian Jeanine Basinger, film critic and cultural theorist B. Ruby Rich, and author-writer-producer David Simon that explore how Waters’ movies have redefined the possibilities of independent cinema.