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Arts & Culture

Filmmaker John Waters kicks off Come Out With Pride 2013

The man of little mystery talks movies, marriage and MBI stings

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7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 | The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive | 407-704-6261 | comeoutwithpride.com | $39-$150

Before doing the “Bug” in the bouffant blowout of Hairspray in the ’80s, director and filmmaker John Waters was challenging gender and taste with a string of cult classics like Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living and Female Trouble, launching a flamboyant career that he chronicles in his 2006 autobiographical film, This Filthy World. This week Waters kicks off Orlando’s Come Out With Pride festivities with a stand-up performance at the Abbey, which he tells us will be an update of This Filthy World, only “100 percent different.” (Waters also has a book due next year, titled Carsick, which details the raconteur’s recent cross-country hitchhiking sojourn through the hellish middle of America.) We caught up with the man of little mystery on his dismount from summer vacation to discuss films, controversy and the art of being a gay outsider. Oh, and “color fascism.”

Orlando Weekly: I actually read that you usually spend your summers in Provincetown, Mass., so I was surprised you were in Baltimore this week.
John Waters: Oh, Labor Day’s over, summer’s over, you can’t wear white, you can’t be on the beach resort. It’s over.

Oh, we’re in Florida; you can do whatever you want here.
No, you can’t; you can’t wear white in the winter in Florida either. I put all my white clothes away today. It’s more liberal there in Florida for the color fascism. The only time I’m right-wing is on fashion. The white thing – as you know, Patty Hearst got killed for wearing white after Labor Day. I guess my mother drove that into me. I’m really passionate about it: You can’t wear patent leather shoes before Easter, you can’t wear a belt before November. I have a law that says you should never wear a tube-top ever! They’re so unflattering!

I don’t know if you know this, but you and Orlando Weekly actually have something in common: We were both treated very shabbily by Orlando’s Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation. In 1990 Pink Flamingos was apparently banned here because the MBI set up a sting operation and had a 14-year-old girl rent Pink Flamingos from a video store.
You’re kidding! Because, you know, when it came out for the 25th anniversary it was in L.A. in supermarket lines at the checkout counter. It was shown on TV on the Sundance Channel. … They wanted to cut the blowjob scene and the chicken fuck, and I said fine, you can cut it, and they forgot to! And I always wonder what family, when they’re sitting there channel-surfing together and a singing asshole comes on – I don’t know.

I don’t know whether they remember that they did it. It was a long time ago.
I hope I don’t get arrested when I’m there this time.

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