If you’re hankering for a heavy dose of sleaze, you need look no further than John Waters’ 1970 sophomore feature, Multiple Maniacs, which joined our collection this week and is now streaming on the Criterion Channel. Made in Waters’ beloved hometown of Baltimore when he was only twenty-four, this low-budget shocker tears through the sanctimoniousness of suburban America with a ferocity that few of the director’s contemporaries have mustered. In the NSFW excerpt below, the Pope of Trash can be heard at his wisecracking best on the audio commentary, guiding viewers through a scene in which his larger-than-life muse Divine lounges naked at the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling tent show introduced at the film’s opening. Watch the clip for Waters’ insights into the influence of foreign cinema on his work, the ironic humor that kept his films from being embraced by grindhouse audiences, and Divine’s emulation of Elizabeth Taylor.
Digging Through Movie History at Chaplin’s Studios
Film scholar Craig Barron gives us a tour of the studios on whose back lot Charlie Chaplin built the set for his final film of the silent era, The Circus.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.