How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters’ cinematic muse and an international drag icon.
:Young, chubby Harris Glenn Milstead liked musicals, was drawn to feminine pursuits, and was bullied. He was privately playing “dress-up games” in his mother’s clothes. By 1963, Glenn was brave enough to show up at a party with his then girlfriend dressed as an astonishingly passable Elizabeth Taylor, among the many glamorous stars he openly idolized.
After meeting a crowd of gay hipsters and freaks. Glenn started camping it up, shoplifting, writing bad checks, and smoking grass. Glenn also met the man who was about to change his life – John Waters. Like Glenn, Waters was obsessed with movies and they bonded over the films of Russ Meyer and Jayne Mansfield. They began to forge a new character, one which mocked the conventional “pretty” drag queens that aspired to look as real as possible. With Waters’ encouragement, this character started to emerge. She was outrageous, outlandish and obviously overweight. Glenn’s wicked, rebellious side matched the sensibilities of Waters, and John christened his new star “Divine” and they started making films together.
A Film by Rosa von Praunheim Nurses on the night shift roll dice to see which AIDS patient will die next. The owner of a gay bathhouse gets Kaposi’s Sarcoma but tries to keep his mind on profits. An epidemic victim is harassed by a reporter on his death bed – he sticks her with a contaminated syringe. The government opens a quarantine called Hell Gay Land. Gay terrorists kidnap the Minister of Health. A black comedy filled with everybody’s worst fears, A Virus Knows No Morals is Rosa von Praunheim’s most controversial film to date: a savagely funny burlesque on the AIDS crisis. Irreverent yet deadly serious, the filmmaker covers just about every aspect of AIDS and its effects, as well as the rumors surrounding it. Since the 1960′s von Praunheim has produced a provocative body of underground films, making him one of the New German Cinema’s most original artists. “Brave and Vicious – Armed Camp!” – New York Times
Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., in the New York Herald Tribune (1952):
Joan Crawford has another of her star-sized roles….Playing a musical comedy actress in the throes of rehearsal and in love with a blind pianist, she is vivid and irritable, volcanic and feminine. She dances; she pretends to sing; she graciously permits her wide mouth and snappish eyes to be photographed in Technicolor….Here is Joan Crawford all over the screen, in command, in love and in color, a real movie star in what amounts to a carefully produced one-woman show. Miss Crawford’s acting is sheer and colorful as a painted arrow, aimed straight at the sensibilities of her particular fans. Continue reading
A lonely security guard can’t even get a decent blind date, so he begins peeping at women through their bedroom windows. Before long he’s paying call girls to come over and secretly videotaping every session.
Within two weeks he’s blown his life savings and been subjected to a lot of verbal and physical abuse. This bizarre black comedy is loaded with naked women!
Starring Andren Scott – with Monica McFarland, Karen Pombo, Becky Van Lewen and Sheila Traister. Directed by Ronnie Cramer, music by Alarming Trends.
“The Best Drive-in Movie of 1992…” Joe Bob Briggs Continue reading
After being plagued by recurring dreams where three strange creatures play havoc with his mind, a novelist pulls an overnighter during which his mind-spun creatures become a reality and horror happens. Continue reading
This film is a sequel in name only to Valley of the Dolls (1967). An all-girl rock band goes to Hollywood to make it big. There they find success, but luckily for us, they sink into a cesspool of decadence. This film has a sleeping woman performing on a gun which is in her mouth. It has women posing as men. It has lesbian sex scenes. It is also written by Roger Ebert, who had become friends with Russ Meyer after writing favorable reviews of several of his films. Continue reading
I can’t stress enough how wonderful, anarchic and unique is this early Israeli film. It blends lots of genres and pokes
fun at many sacred cows while dealing with connections between cinema, reality and its ideological representations.
There simply isn’t any other film like that, and it’s the first time it’s on the net, with subs.
Not much information in English, so I edited an article I’ve found, but it dosen’t do the movie justice:
A comic and episodic satire, the film uses improvization to ilustrate the clash between fantasy and reality in real life. Although conceived in the style of Mekas’ “Hallelujah the hills” (1962), it’s an authentically Israeli satire, an openly rebellious and individualistic expression that poked fun at the sacred myths of earlier zionist films. The technique of film within the film is used to portray film as reflection of the imagination, a miracle based on dreams and fantasies that take on concrete characteristics- parallel to the miracle of Israel, the dream that has become reality (?). Although not a commercial success, there’s no equal to it in all of the Israeli films made since then. Continue reading