John Waters: The gay interview

John Waters 2John Waters has taken many deviant turns during his influential career as a cult icon who’s constructed a legacy out of the poop-eating, mom-murdering outrageousness of his filmography. But he hasn’t stopped there.

Even in conversation one recent afternoon from his Baltimore home, Waters — who will appear live at the Texas Theatre on Sunday in his one-man show of hilariously inappropriate stories — is appropriately inappropriate as he considers a smorgasbord of provocative topics: his disdain for adult babies, the resurrection of Brad Renfro, how James Franco is too good looking to look at, and why, at 68, he may never make another film.

— Chris Azzopardi

Dallas Voice: I can’t imagine much shocks you, but these days, does anything?  John Waters: The things that I don’t like that I don’t wanna be shocked by — $40-million gross-out Hollywood movies. Really ugly porn — – like rape porn. Stuff I don’t wanna look at. I mean, we have to put up with that for the freedoms of free speech, but also, some romantic comedies I can’t take.

What’s the biggest limit you’ve overcome?  Maybe sploshers. You know, people who are sexually attracted to food. And I still have problems with feeders. I have real problems with adult babies. Lock those fuckers up.

How do you feel about the plushies movement?  I think it’s bullshit. I think Vanity Fair made that up [with a 2001 story called “Pleasures of the Fur”], and then once they did the article, people became them. I’m not sure I believe that’s true even.

And grown men obsessed with My Little Ponies — “bronies”?  They’re trying too hard to be kinky. Plushie sex holds no interest for me. If people are into it, I don’t wanna know more about their life, really. Do it in private or — as that expression that I hate goes — “get a room.” I think I feel that way about plushies and people that wanna fuck people in unicorn costumes.

Fans adore you — I adore you — because you’ve always been the voice of the voiceless. As a youngster coming into himself, I remember you introducing me to so much more than morning cartoons did.  [Laughs] Morning cartoons are a good start, though! There’s always insane puppeteers and fairy tales. You know, when I was young I loved Slovenly Peter. That was a great one. I loved him. I still have that up by my bed. And Chicken Little — liked that one, too!

Today we’re getting shock-value films like The Human Centipede and the 2013 German drama Wetlands, which features vegetable masturbation — did you see it?  I did see Wetlands. I enjoyed it! It was the only movie I’ve ever seen about hemorrhoids. It started its own genre.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: Documentary short films

OUR_CURSE_stillIn the current issue of Dallas Voice, I preview the animated and live action short films, currently playing at Magnolia; the documentary shorts also screen this week, though for one-time-only showings at the Texas Theatre.

The shorts are divided into two programs — the first runs tonight at 7 p.m., and features two docs; the second on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and features the other three. That’s a shame, because the best of the lot are in separate programs. It’s a toss-up between Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (showing tonight) and Our Curse (showing Sunday) as to which is the best … and which will win the Oscar.

Crisis is a profile of the folks who work at the Veterans Administration’s call center for vets suffering from PTSD. With minimal explanation, we listen into the counselors’ sides of stressful calls from suicidal men and women suffering from depression and shock — sometimes from their war experiences, sometimes from adjustments as civilians afterward. These are serious, painful calls met with calm and care by ordinary folks who do their best to save lives.

It contrasts with Our Curse, a hand-held documentary from Poland made by a married couple whose young son suffers from a devastating and incurable disease where he cannot breathe a night without use a ventilator. The stress it puts on their marriage — and their even-still devotion to a child who will never get better — is chilling and hopeful, dark and tender in turn. Don’t mistake it for Joanna, another Polish doc about a woman dying and trying to make her life seem as normal as possible to her young son. It’s not nearly as good (and screens with Crisis anyway).

THE_REAPER_stillThe remaining two films — both about 20 minutes — deal with unusual jobs: In White Earth, folks in North Dakota talk about the stressful necessity of working in the oil fields; in The Reaper, a title person acts as the point man at an abattoir, having butchered 500 cattle a day for the last 25 years. Being surrounded by death has taken its toll.

Expect Crisis to nudge out Curse at the Oscars — unlike the divisive reaction to American Sniper, this shows the effect of war without any political controversy — with White Earth a possible spoiler. Or see them for yourself and decide.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Tennessee Queer’ holds Dallas premiere in Oak Cliff

Actor - Jerre Dye (Paul)“When I was writing Tennessee Queer in 2011, the governor of Tennessee was afraid to strongly rebuke some religious conservatives who introduced anti-gay legislation at the state level, and the mayor of Memphis wouldn’t publicly speak out in favor of LGBT rights for city workers,” said gay Presbyterian deacon and filmmaker Mark Goshorn Jones.

The main character in the film says, “You can’t pick and choose verses from the Bible and quote them like they’re the goddamn U.S. Constitution.”

Tennessee Queer, Jones new film, holds its Dallas premiere at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff on March 31 at 7 p.m. A Q&A with the filmmaker follows the screening.

SYNOPSIS

After a few years in New York City, out and proud Jason Potts returns to his Tennessee hometown only to find things haven’t changed for LGBT teenagers. Being gay is still the worst thing to be in Smyth, Tennessee.

Wanting to help these gay teens and give them some hope, Jason hatches a plan while he’s home for the weekend. Things quickly spiral out of control as Jason is put in charge of the first-ever gay pride parade in this sleepy, small southern town.

Unknown to Jason, a scheming conservative city councilman and a holier-than-thou minister plan to round up Smyth’s gay teens after the parade and send them off to an ex-gay ministry camp to be cured of their sinful ways. Will Jason succeed with the parade? Will he be run out of town before the parade? Will the gay teenagers be sent away? Tune in as hilarity ensues in this heartwarming comedy.

tq_poster_web

 

—  David Taffet

6 ways to fabulize your week

divineWe’re all about diversity in the gay community, and here’s how we prove it.

Let’s say you have a hankering to spend some time in the dark with gay Latinos this week. We got some suggestions. One is by seeing the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, a musical set in a South American prison. Another is checking out Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown at Teatro Dallas, which features nine comic monologues dealing with all aspects of the gay Latin experience in the U.S.

If you’re tastes fall more along the lines of WASPy gay humor, you can still try to scrounge up a seat to Kathy Griffin, who is performing tonight at the Verizon Theatre. She’ll certainly talk about Kardashians, Real Housewives and, of course, “her gays.”

If that’s not your style, perhaps a little drag is what you need. The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff is screening a 35mm print of John Waters’ outrageous classic Polyester tonight at 9:30 p.m., followed by a John Waters-themed dance party at 11. Costumes are encouraged. (You know you wanna try out that Tracy Turnblad get-up you have!)

If you wanna up the fashion quotient, the DFashion Week runway show — an inaugural fundraiser benefiting AIDS Arms and LifeWalk — comes to the Rose Room on Saturday. You can get tickets here.

For those who prefer the whole smorgasbord of choices, and like to be entertained as well, Sunday night is the Voice of Pride finals at the Rose Room. Ten singers walk in, one walks out with the title, cash, plane tickets … and bragging rights.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Watch Tuesday’s debate with Stonewall Democrats or Log Cabin Republicans

Both Log Cabin Republicans and Stonewall Democrats are planning watch parties for the town hall-format presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Log Cabin will join Dallas County Young Republicans at Stoneleigh P, 2626 Maple Ave. at 8 p.m.

Stonewall Democrats begin the evening with their general meeting at Ojeda’s on Maple Avenue at 6 p.m. Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs will speak on the upcoming bond election, and Denise Rodriguez will represent Planned Parenthood PAC.

At 7:30 p.m., the group moves to Woody’s on Cedar Springs Road for its debate watch party.

On Oct. 18, Stonewall is staffing an Obama phone bank at Dallas Democratic Party headquarters, 4209 Parry St.

Stonewall will host its third debate watch party at the Texas Theatre on Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff on Oct. 22, the day early voting begins.

The Texas Democratic Party announced a partnership with Stonewall Democrats of Texas called “Come Out and Vote.” Launched on National Coming Out Day, Come Out and Vote encourages members of the LGBT community to early-vote on Oct. 27.

“This is another way for the LGBT community and its allies to celebrate and exhibit their strength and pride by engaging in the voting process,” Jacob Limon, Texas Democratic Party deputy executive director, wrote in a press release.

 

—  David Taffet

Oak Cliff Film Fest runs throughout the weekend

Texas tales

The inaugural Oak Cliff Film Festival gets underway tonight showcasing the local and statewide films with a few national and international screenings to boot. But perhaps the real gem is watching movies in all the cool venues the OCFF is home to. The historic Texas Theatre, the Kessler Theater, Bishop Arts Theater, the Belmont Hotel and even the Dallas Zoo all screen films throughout the festival and make for a different feel. You know, the way Oak Cliff likes to do it.

DEETS: Various venues. $10 per film. The festival runs through Sunday. OakCliffFilmFestival.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Gain the edge on the Oscar pool with shorts

In this week’s issue, I’ll be giving my predictions for the Oscars, which are on Sunday. The secret to winning the office pool? Seeing all the obscure films that no one known how to vote on.

Well, it’s not a secret how to do it — just track down the shorts programs.

For the past several years, the Magnolia Theatre has hosted screenings of the live action shorts and animated shorts — usually just for one week. This year, though, they’ve extended it — you can catch the films all weekend, up to and including Oscar night. The slate of films — the five nominated for best live action, the five nominated for best animated, and two additional animated shorts — are a hodgepodge of comic and sentimental.

But there’s an even rarer opportunity tonight only: You can see four of the five documentary shorts at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. The docs have never been part of the Magnolia’s lineup, but the Texas Theatre has run them a few nights this week; tonight is the final chance to see them, at 7 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Movie Monday: Oscar nominated doc shorts at Texas Theatre

Oscar countdown

Be proud if you’ve seen all the major nominees for this year’s Oscars, but impress your watching party by throwing down some knowledge when this category comes up. The Texas Theatre helps round out those slightly obscure awards by featuring this year’s crops of documentary shorts. And the nominees are The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, God Is the Bigger Elvis, Incident in New Baghdad,  Saving Face and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom. The theater screens ‘em all save for God, but that’ll be enough to make an informed decision and give you the edge on that Oscar pool.

DEETS: The Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. 7 p.m. $9. TheTexasTheatre.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Golden Globe watch party at The Texas Theatre

Loving on Gervais’ Globes

Everyone was in a tizzy last year when Ricky Gervais ripped so many new ones into Hollywood at the Golden Globes. Surprise! He’s back. And with good reason — he’s the best part.

DEETS: Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. 7 p.m. Free. TheTexasTheatre.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Free “Christmas Evil” screening at Texas Theatre

Christmas ain’t over yet

In tonight’s edition of the Texas Theatre’s Tuesday Night Trash, they go all out for the Yuletide with the campy fright flick, Christmas Evil. When a kid finds out Santa isn’t real and a killing spree follows, well, it might be tough to connect the dots. Childhood trauma that leads to adult dysfunction might sound like a Dr. Phil episode, but thankfully, it’s in the 1980 hands of Lewis Jackson. What could be better?

DEETS: The Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. 9 p.m. Free. TheTexasTheatre.com

—  Rich Lopez