The Zine Collection

…at Jacksonville’s Main Library

John Waters: A Primer

John WatersJohn Waters will be visiting Jacksonville this holiday season to share some of his fondest Christmas memories. You can find out more about the show on the Florida Theater’s website. We’ve put together the following list of library materials for your enjoyment and edification. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

“John Waters has done more than any living American to give bad taste a good name.”
– Interview Magazine

Find John Waters @ Your Library


John Waters.Role
Role Models.

Find Role Models at your library

“Wanting to be notorious and also well-liked is an oddly forked ambition, but for 40 years now John Waters has been treading his double path. In books such as the new Role Models he gives the paradoxes of his image some fine-tuning. The essay on art collecting has some charmingly brisk advice for the beginner (go to the second show of an artist you like and buy something for about $5,000) and everything on his list of Five Books You Should Read to Lead a Happy Life if Something is Basically the Matter With You is worth knowing.” – The Observer


John Waters.Crackpot:
Crackpot: The Obsessions Of John Waters.

Find Crackpot: The Obsessions Of John Waters at your library

“In Crackpot, a reissue of Waters’ 1986 collection of rants and reviews, originally published in Rolling Stone and elsewhere, the sweetness of the auteur’s alleged perversity shines through on every page. Whether discussing the life story of Pia Zadora or the success of Hairspray on Broadway (“The real reason I’m praying that Hairspray…succeeds is that if it’s a big hit, there will be high school productions, and finally the fat girl and the drag queen will get the starring parts”), Waters exhibits a moral heart buried in the garbage of celebrity culture. In his career as filmmaker, gallery artist, journalist and professional wit, Waters has always championed the loser with irrefutable panache. This document of his clever, searching mind will inspire old fans to laugh with renewed affection, and may win him a few new admirers.” – Publishers Weekly


John Waters.Shock
Shock Value.
Thunder’s Mouth.

Find Shock Value at your library

“Opening with his upbringing in Baltimore (‘Charm City’ as dubbed by the tourist board; the “hairdo capital of the world” as dubbed by Waters), it covers his friendship with his muse and leading lady, Divine, detailed accounts of how Waters made his first movies, stories of the circle of friends/actors he used in these films, and finally the ‘sort-of fame’ he achieves in America. Complementing the text are dozens of fabulous old photographs of Waters and crew. Here is a true love letter from a legendary filmmaker to his friends, family, and fans.” – Barnes and Noble


HairsprayJohn Waters.
New Line.

Find Hairspray at your library

“Waters doesn’t try to transform the sappy fun of pop into art; he loves it for itself. He’s a twenty-year veteran of the midnight-movie circuit; his affection for bad taste is no sham. And he loves narrative: he has half a dozen plots crisscrossing each other. Poor-girl Tracy has a rich-girl rival—slender, blond Amber (Colleen Fitzpatrick), who has been raised to be popular and a star. The two girls are pitted against each other as the top contenders in the Miss Auto Show 1963 contest. To complicate matters, Amber’s boyfriend, Link (Michael St. Gerard), a ringer for Elvis, is fed up with her and is drawn to Tracy, white lipstick and all. Corny Collins (Shawn Thompson) wants to integrate his show but can’t, because the head of the TV station—WZZT—won’t permit it; this rancid boss is also played by Divine. At times, “Hairspray” suggests a home movie made by a gang of celebrities. The many plots involve Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono as Amber’s parents, who are monomaniacal about her becoming Miss Auto Show; Jerry Stiller as Tracy’s father; Waters himself as a sick psychiatrist; and Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora as the first of the lank-haired beatniks who are about to displace the ducktail and beehive brigades.” – The New Yorker

PolyesterJohn Waters.
New Line.

Find Polyester at your library

“Baltimore-based underground filmmaker John Waters, famous for his midnight circuit hits like Pink Flamingos, surfaces in the pro ranks with Polyester, a fitfully amusing comedy of not so ordinary people. Waters’ fabled shock tactics are toned down here. Transvestite thesp Divine never steps out of character essaying the role of a housewife stuck with horrid children (Mary Garlington and Ken King) an unsympathetic husband (David Samson) and a truly evil mother (Joni Ruth White).” – Variety


Til Death
John Waters.
‘Til Death Do Us Part: The Complete First Season.

Find ‘Til Death Do Us Part: The Complete First Season at your library

“Get out the confetti, the wedding cake, and the hearse. John Waters (Hairspray, Serial Mom, Pink Flamingos) stars as the Groom Reaper in Love You To Death, the 13-episode, half-hour, anthology series featuring stories inspired by true crimes involving married couples whose once wedded bliss ends in murder. As presenter and narrator, The Groom Reaper, he brings his macabre sensibility and wry comedy to a series of dramatised stories which reveal the real life cases of ill-fated relationships, what they did, why they did it, and how they covered it up. Recalling great anthology series like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone, each episode of this dark, edgy, and unique series has a happy ending, John Waters style, with the guilty spouse getting caught in a way he/she never expected.” – The New York Times


Cry BabyJohn Waters.
John Waters.
Cry Baby.

Find Cry Baby at your library

“John Waters’s goofy, 1990 comedy about a Baltimore girl (Amy Locane) who can’t decide if she should remain ‘good’ in her 1954 world or hang out with the motorcycle boys is funny in a scene-by-scene way, but doesn’t quite gel into the grand piece the director was hoping for. The cast is exceptionally likable, however, including Johnny Depp as an Elvis type and Iggy Pop as a chattering loony. The best material is set in a fringe world of bikers and losers on the outskirts of town, and Waters writes some hilarious sardonic dialogue for the characters. Cry-Baby is the last of Waters’s more undisciplined features; he followed it with the glossier but no less perverse Serial Mom.” –

John Waters On The Holidays:

Commentary: Why John Waters Loves Christmas

A paean to Christmas by filmmaker John Waters, who counts this holiday among his many obsessions. (NPR)

Catchy And Rare: A John Waters Christmas

Director John Waters, known for making art from sleaze, has a new CD for the season, A John Waters Christmas. It includes such songs as “Here Comes Fatty Claus,” “Little Mary Christmas,” and “Santa Claus is a Black Man.” Waters was once crowned the “Pope of Trash” by William Burroughs. (NPR)

Christmas Party Decorating With John Waters

Every December since 1966, filmmaker John Waters has hosted a huge Christmas party at his Baltimore home. Christmas is an obsession for Waters, and this year he released a holiday compilation — featuring such titles as “Here Comes Fatty Claus” — on a new CD, A John Waters Christmas. NPR’s Scott Simon visited Waters as he and a team of friends prepared to decorate every room of his four-story 1928 home. Everything gets the holiday treatment, from the fireplace mantel to the electric chair (from his movie Female Trouble) that sits in his foyer. (NPR)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: