Dir: John Waters
Different film-makers appeal to different senses. Some try to make you cry, some to make you laugh, some to make you consider injustices in the world, some to make you question the meaning of life.
John Waters wants to revolt you.
And he succeeds.
'Pink Flamingos' tells the story of a group of trailer-trash deviants who are proud of their reputation as 'the filthiest people alive'. However when someone tries to take their title, they fight back with their disgustingness.
How does one approach a film like 'Pink Flamingos'?
Does one talk about the career of director John Waters, a witty and intelligent man, who has written a number of hilarious accounts of his life, and went on to direct 'Hairspray', 'Cry-baby' and 'Serial Mom', and who has always worn smart suits and a pencilled-in moustache?
Or does one focus on Divine, the transvestite performer who was a feature of most of John Waters' films until his untimely death from sleep apnea?
Should one argue that the film is a biting satire on society's obsession with fame - a response to Warhol, made more relevant than ever with contemporary television programs like 'Fear Factor', where real people really do compete to do disgusting things in return for a moment's fame?
Does its importance lie in the fact that it achieved success as a midnight movie; that audiences saw it as a response to bland, mass-produced, commercial movies, and saw it as an act of rebellion against a saccharine society?
Does it question the whole relationship between director and audience? Why is it more noble to make an audience cry than to make them barf? Is one emotional response somehow less valid than another?
Is it a beacon of hope to young film-makers that with little resources, amateur actors, and no apparent film-making technique whatsoever, you can still make a film that gets released?
And ultimately how can one take seriously a film where the pivotal moment comes when the main actor/actress eats dog shit?
Is it trash?
But can trash be art?
That's for you to decide.
Here are some love vows taken from the dialog of the film, that one should perhaps consider if one gets married:
Connie Marble: Oh, I love you Raymond. I love you more than anything in this whole world. I love you more than my own filthiness, more than my own hair color. Oh God, I love you more than the sound of bones breaking, the sound of death rattle - even more than the sound of my own shit do I love you, Raymond.
Raymond Marble: And I, Connie, also love you more than anything that I could ever imagine: more than my hair color, more than the sound of babies crying, of dogs dying - even more than the thought of original sin itself. I am yours, Connie, eternally united through an invisible core of finely woven filth, that even God himself could never ever break.