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  • Written by Amélia Rodrigues


The Los Angeles Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will present the extraordinary exhibition, "John Waters: Pope of Trash," showcasing the provocative world of acclaimed filmmaker John Waters. From September 17, 2023, to August 4, 2024, the audience will embark on a captivating journey through the remarkable career of this independent cinema pioneer.

Curated by Jenny He and Dara Jaffe, "John Waters: Pope of Trash '' offers a comprehensive exhibition of Waters' distinctive process, recurring themes, and unparalleled moviemaking style. The exhibit delves into the audacious mind of Waters, while discovering an array of artefacts, including costumes, props, handwritten scripts, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, and moving-image materials.

Waters, a multi-hyphenate filmmaker and accomplished visual artist has carved a unique path in American cinema. Celebrated as the "Pope of Trash" by novelist William S. Burroughs, Waters's renegade films defy conventional norms and embrace irreverence, laugh-out-loud humour, and heartfelt storytelling. Drawing inspiration from icons such as Herschell Gordon Lewis, Russ Meyer, Andy Warhol, and Ingmar Bergman, Waters has created an unparalleled canon of cinematic originality.

Museum goers will explore the vibrant and daring world of Waters' muses, themes, obsession, and celebrity culture, while experiencing his iconic works, such as "Pink Flamingos" (1972), "Female Trouble" (1974), "Desperate Living" (1977), "Hairspray" (1988), "Serial Mom" (1994), and "A Dirty Shame" (2004). Other films that have captivated audiences for over five decades and have earned esteemed recognition include "Pink Flamingos", which is being inducted into the National Film Registry in 202, and "Hairspray" acknowledged by the Librarian of Congress for its significance in American cinematic heritage.

In addition to the exhibition, the adjacent Warner Bros. gallery presents a compelling media installation that surveys work from the American Avant-garde and New Queer Cinema, providing a broader context for Waters's films within contemporary and subsequent film movements.

Opening a day before the artist receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visitors are set for an unforgettable experience, where the spirit of independent filmmaking thrives as the legacy of John Waters comes to life.


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