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Florida Premiere Engagement of the new restoration: MULTIPLE MANIACS by John Waters

  • 19 Oct 2016
  • 8:40 PM - 10:20 PM
  • Miami Beach Cinematheque at Historic City Hall, 1130 Washington Ave, South Beach
  • 57


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WED, OCT 19, 8:40p:

The Florida Premiere Engagement of

the restoration of John Waters’

rarely seen “celluloid atrocity”,

unavailable for thirty years!


Directed by JOHN WATERS/1970/96mins.

With Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pierce, Mink Stole,

Cookie Mueller, Edith Massey, Vincent Peranio

John Waters’ gloriously grotesque, unavailable-for-decades second feature comes to theaters at long last, replete with all manner of depravity, from robbery to murder to one of cinema’s most memorably blasphemous moments. Made on a shoestring budget in Baltimore, with Waters taking on nearly every technical task, this gleeful mockery of the peace-and-love ethos of its era features the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling show put on by a troupe of misfits whose shocking proclivities are topped only by those of their leader: the glammer-than-glam, larger-than-life Divine, who’s out for blood after discovering her lover’s affair. Starring Waters’ beloved regular cast the Dreamlanders (including David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and Cookie Mueller), Multiple Maniacs is an anarchist masterwork from an artist who has doggedly tested the limits of taste for decades.

“I’ve always referred to Multiple Maniacs as my “celluloid atrocity.”

Even though it’s technically primitive and the actors sometimes

forget their lines, it’s still my favorite of all my films. I like its

meanness and harsh documentary look, and for the first time

the actors could spew forth the endless pages of dialogue I had

written—lip-synched, at least.”-John Waters

Multiple Maniacs was shot on an Auricon 16 mm camera using

Kodak black-and-white reversal film with audio magnetic stripe.

Additional exterior footage was filmed on a Bell & Howell handcranked

camera. The reversal original was kept in John Waters’ closet from

1970 until he moved in 1990, after which it was kept in

Waters’ attic at occasional 100-plus-degree

temperatures—until the Criterion Collection retrieved it and

scanned it in 4K resolution on a Lasergraphics Director film

scanner at Metropolis Post in New York.

The film was in remarkably good condition even after

its tumultuous nonarchival history. Digital restoration

techniques were used to stabilize the image; clean up the dirt,

scratches, and debris; and give Multiple Maniacs a new shine

for its digital premiere. The picture is being presented for its

restored rerelease in Waters’ preferred aspect ratio of 1.66:1.

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