College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Provocateur and National Treasure John Waters to Visit

John_Waters 2The Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies is bringing Writer-Director-Photographer and American cultural icon John Waters to the University of Mississippi for his one-man show entitled “This Filthy World,” which will be at the Gertrude C. Ford Center on Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. This event is free. Tickets are available through the UM Box Office. This student-inspired event was made possible by generous support from the University Lecture Series, numerous university entities, and private donations.

John Waters has directed over a dozen movies. He has penned numerous nonfiction books. His latest, Car Sick, was on the 2014 New York Times bestseller list. He is also a noted photographer whose work has appeared in galleries all over the world.

Waters is an artist with the amazing ability to make his audiences laugh, squirm, and scream in one delirious, delicious moment. His cult classic films such as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester and larger big budget productions like Serial Mom, Cry Baby, Hairspray and Cecil B. Demented are carnivalesque journeys into American cultural and social life. No cultural taboo is safe or dogmatic thinking off limits. As Jaime Harker, interim director of the Sarah Isom Center, explains, “John Waters has been a key figure in gender studies for decades. His films paved the way for performers like RuPaul and with his casting of ‘big girl’ Ricki Lake in Hairspray he forged a path that, most recently, Lena Denham in Girls has trod. Look at recent popular culture manifestations of feminism, body size, gender, and sexuality, and it is almost certain that John Waters did it first and did it better.”

Dennis Lim, the Film Society’s Director of Programming at Lincoln Center, says it best when he observes that John Waters is “a lifelong provocateur and by now a national treasure. [He] is a singular, even prophetic figure within not only American cinema but also the broader landscape of American popular culture. From his early underground sensations to his subversive work within the mainstream, no filmmaker has done as much to blur and challenge the distinctions between high and low culture, and between good and bad taste.”

In anticipation of his upcoming visit the Sarah Isom Center with support from the Student Union / Division of Student Affairs, (and a number of academic departments) we are hosting a “Welcome to the “World of John Waters Movie Night” on Tuesday, March 24th.  Hairspray and Serial Mom make up the evening’s double-feature. Michelle Emanuel, who is teaching a course on Waters this semester, will introduce the films. There will be a raffle with John Waters tickets with VIP seating, an autographed movie poster and copies of Car Sick given away as prizes. Theresa Starkey, assistant director of the Sarah Isom Center, describes the event as “a fun and memorable space where members of our diverse student body can come together and enjoy this incredible double feature, to have fun, good conversations and to learn about this important cultural icon.”

Director Jaime Harker says, “We are honored to have John Waters at the University of Mississippi, and we know that his presence will continue to push boundaries and extend possibilities.”