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Wed, Jul 12 at 8:00pm


  • Dir. John Waters
  • USA
  • 1977
  • 90 min.
  • NR
  • 35mm
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Queer Qlassics

Wed, Jul 12 at 8:00pm: Introduction and mini-seminar from film critic Jason Shawhan. Shawhan will discuss the relationship between fame and agency in Waters' repertoire, and the major themes of this film, including queer separatist communes, the disaffected suburbanite-to-fascist sympathizer pipeline, the legacy of the protagonist, Queen Carlotta | BUY TICKETS

A suburban housewife (Mink Stole) murders her husband with the help of her domestic worker (Jean Hill). While on the run, they’re caught by a kinky police officer who offers them a chance to avoid prison. They take the deal, end up exiled to a squatters’ paradise full of social outcasts, and decide to become lesbians. The town’s authoritarian ruler, a diabolical Queen (Edith Massey), doles out absurdly terrifying punishments, left and right. When the townspeople of nudists, criminals, wrestlers and queers of every ilk decide they have had enough, they stage a revolt against their oppressive leader. 

“I’ve now watched the film, joyously, at least a dozen times, but only recently did it dawn on me how disturbingly prescient it happens to be. It imagines an America that in 1977, during the early Carter years, must have seemed like preposterous parody but today appears merely descriptive.” —Alex Halberstadt, New York Times

“...A full satirical realization of the dearth of social benefits under a neoliberal regime, one in which civic  engagement does not accord livelihood.”  —Daniel Portland, FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts