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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mr. Demented and Mr. Big

posted by on June 4 at 13:03 PM

Saw my first John Waters film on a big screen yesterday thanks to SIFF. The director gave a charming pre-film interview, dancing gracefully with a somewhat befuddled interviewer, and made me wish I hadn’t turned down a ticket to his appearance at Benaroya last night. Cecil B. Demented is silly fun, as I’m sure you all know. The costumes and vampy makeup (especially on Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Satanist) were my highlight.

Then a well-timed Metro 49 whisked me through the downpour to Harvard Exit for Mr. Big, a look at the confession-coercion techniques employed by Canadian Mounties and how they lead Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay to life sentences for the 1994 murders of the Rafay family in Bellevue. The documentary is chilling and aesthetically stark. It plays again tomorrow at 4:30 at McCaw Hall.

Harvard Exit tip: Theater employees will let you carry coffee in, and Joe Bar across the street makes fantastic foil-wrapped carry-out crepes that slip easily into a purse or pocket.

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Oh my. You haven't lived until you've seen Pink Flamingos on the big screen. His early stuff is raw and insane (pulsating anuses, chicken-fucking, hugely obese ladies sitting in cribs eating eggs), and makes his later work look as tame as a documentary on the Mennonites.

Posted by Fnarf | June 4, 2008 1:12 PM

thanks mostly to peaches christ and midnight mass, i've seen almost every john waters movie on the big screen. the best was "polyester", complete with odorama scratch-n-sniff cards.

"cecil b. demented" is easily his worst movie. if you get a chance to see any of his 70s/pre-hairspray flicks in the theater, don't pass it up!

Posted by brandon | June 4, 2008 1:27 PM

If you can only see one J Waters flick--make it Desperate Living.

His more recent and commercially successful work is fun, but it's not how he, shall we say, earned, his reputation.

Posted by Westside forever | June 4, 2008 1:33 PM

1)Female Trouble is the best Waters film

2)Burns and Rafay ARE guilty despite the allegedly dubious techniques of the Mounties...

Posted by michael strangeways | June 4, 2008 1:53 PM

I still have my Odorama card. They don't smell like anything anymore. I should post a pic.

Posted by Fnarf | June 4, 2008 2:19 PM

The best part of the Cecil B. Demented experience was John Waters himself before the film, and then his warning about smoking.

As to interrogation techniques by the RCMP - at least Canada doesn't routinely violate the Geneva Conventions like the USA does every day of the week ... wake me up when you have something to complain about, Torture Nation Amerika!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 2:30 PM

The "somewhat befuddled interviewer" talking to John Waters before Cecil B. DeMented yesterday was none other than Carl Spence, SIFF's Artistic Director. Dude was definitely befuddled.

You missed a fantastic lecture at Benaroya, not to mention a groovy after-party at the W.

Posted by sorryroger | June 4, 2008 2:40 PM

Way to go!

It's nice to see a review where undercutting an independent theater's income stream (by bringing outside snacks in) is lauded!

Good on ya for suggesting ways to help destroy independent theaters!

You truly are a film lover!

Posted by ecce homo | June 4, 2008 3:19 PM

egad...ecce homo lives!!!

technically, Harvard Exit isn't an independent's owned by Landmark which is a small but nationally located chain of art house theaters which frequently shows films of an independent nature.

nice try, though.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 4, 2008 4:02 PM

I unabashedly bring in outside snacks, unabashedly because most theaters offer such garbage. Put up some decent snacks for sale, and maybe I'll buy them. Otherwise, I'm bringing my own.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 4, 2008 4:19 PM

The Harvard Exit does use real butter on the popcorn, though. You've got to give them that.

Posted by annie | June 4, 2008 4:29 PM

I always buy things in the theater if they sell it.

But, if they don't I'm bringing it in.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 5:32 PM

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