Hollywood legend Waters visits LJMU

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Hollywood film director John Waters © LJMU

Hollywood film director John Waters © LJMU

Hollywood film legend John Waters delivered a lecture and answered students’ question at Liverpool John Moores University.

The American film director, who directed the original ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Cry Baby’ films, spoke to both students and the general public as part of the Homotopia Festival.

The audience viewed ‘Boom!’, a 1968 film starring Elizabeth Taylor, before John began his talk. The film has received poor ratings with review site Rotten Tomatoes maintaining an 8 per cent rating.

Speaking about the film, Waters said: “This film is beyond bad and that’s why I think they were all drunk whilst making it!

“You make bad decisions whilst drunk. It’s the other side of camp but I never tire of it. It’s beyond trash but there is only one word for it…perfect.”

Amusingly, John revealed that even the star of the film hated it. He said: “I met Elizabeth Taylor once at a party. I told her how much I loved ‘Boom!’ and she got mad at me at first claiming it was rubbish!

“You wonder what Elizabeth Taylor was doing! She was a good movie star and everyone who made fun of her really loved her.”

Members of the audience got the chance to ask John about his own films. When asked which of his films were his personal favourite he replied: “Hairspray would be my favourite because it brought me an apartment in San Francisco!”

John Waters

Born 22nd April 1946

All his films are set in his homeland, Baltimore

Won Fimmaker on the Edge Award at Provincetown International Film Festival

In his early directing days his father gave him the money to make his movies

When questioned about his unique film approach and making controversial films, he said: “As far as making everyone like a film then no one likes it. You can’t take out the extremes of my movies.”

The 67-year-old admitted that he has seen the recent 2012 film ‘Spring Breakers’ and loved it.

Speaking about films that reflect youth, he said: “’Hairspray’ and ‘Cry Baby’ was my own youth. I parodied the Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis movies in ‘Cry Baby’. A funny thing about ‘Cry Baby’ is that 20 per cent of actors came in and read it as ‘Cry Berry’!”

As the talk came to a close, John insisted that he would never make an adaptation, saying: “I don’t want to adapt anything. I only do things that I’ve written. The most fun of any project is writing it.”

About Abi Bramhall, JMU Journalism