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вторник, 23 августа 2016 г.

Role Models: A Review of The Latest Book By John Waters

A book review of actor director John Waters' latest book, Role Models, which include chapters on Johnny Mathis, Tennessee Williams and Leslie Van Houten.

Cult actor director John Waters' latest book is called Role Models (2010), it is a compilation of essays about Waters' favorite people, his role models and his personal relationship with them. If you're familiar with Waters' movies and previous books, reading Role Models is like catching up with an old friend, since many of his references and even the people in the book were present in his previous books.

Who Is John Waters?

Actor director John Waters was once dubbed the 'pope of trash' by William S. Burroughs, due to his reliance on trash and filth when making such camp classics like Pink Flamingos. Waters independently financed all of his early films by employing his own friends as actors and using his hometown, Baltimore, as location. He transitioned into the mainstream with hits like 1988's Hairspray and Cry-Baby, which helped establish Johnny Depp as a rising young star. Nowadays, John Waters is a respected comedian, still making movies and having written several books. He remains one of the most innovative, outspoken and outrageous voices of contemporary cinema.

Role Models To An Eccentric Baltimore Boy

You may be wondering who does John Waters, he who made his best friend eat dog's feces, considers as his role models. Johnny Mathis, Tennessee Williams and Little Richards to name a few. Not so scary, right? What makes John Waters unique is that a wonderful chapter on how reading Williams helped him cope with being an outsider as a child, is followed by a chapter on Leslie Van Houten, a former member of the notorious Manson family, who was involved in the killing of the LaBianca couple. In addition to Van Houten, who Waters has defended extensively online, actress Patty McCormack, and designer Rei Kawakubo (from the fashion line Comme des Garcons) are named as role models, as well.

Baltimore Heroes

The most interesting chapter is by far the one named "Baltimore Heroes", in which the director names just a few of his favorite local Baltimore celebrities. Stripper Zorro, who was mentioned in his previous book, is named as a key player in John Waters' adoration of the eccentricities of his hometown. For this book, he hunts down her daughter and even after hearing the awful tales of addiction, Waters is still intrigued and fascinated. If you know anything about the actor director you know that his heart lives in Baltimore, which is why he still has a home there. The chapter concludes with stories of unusual Baltimore bar owners, and infamous strip clubs.

John Waters' Role Models: Who Should Read It?
If you are a John Waters fan, Role Models is definitely a must read. Though he is obviously not as young as he use to be, Waters is still passionate about certain people, places and movies. In the concluding chapter, "Cult Leader", Waters outlines the details and rules that one would need to abide by if they were members of the John Waters cult. If you are not a Waters fan, or do not know much about him, this could be a good place to start — however, there is a chapter dedicated to gay pornographers and Waters is not one to censor himself (thankfully), so if you are somewhat sensitive, best to move on to something lighter.

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