Tag Archives: John Waters

These Amazing Shadows: The Movies that Make America

19 Oct


These Amazing Shadows is a straight forward documentary that demonstrates the importance of the National Film Registry and its impact on film preservation. There were several enlightening interviews from some of America’s greatest filmmakers, as well as clips from America’s most memorable films, as well as a list of some not so popular choices that shows off the diversity of the selection committee. Directors Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton guide audience into the vault and reveal some important contributors to film history, especially the often ignored women directors from Old Hollywood. The documentary shares the old and the new, but more importantly the film inspires audiences to revisit  and watch our countries favorite films again.


Chuck’s Grade: B+

Adam’s Grade: B

Serial Mom

12 May


Serial Mom is a satirical look at the public’s infatuation with true crime. In 1994, John Waters invades the suburbs of Baltimore and arms Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) with a fire poker and a pair of scissors as she defends herself in court on murder charges. John Waters’s sense of humor is always off-center and he makes fun of mainstream America in a diabolical way that ends up becoming a prophetic tale of contemporary audience’s appetite for reality television and sensational news stories.  Beverly is an ordinary house wife married to Eugene (Sam Waterston) with two teenage children (Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard). Everything is normal, excepts her list of victims that annoyed her in one way or another. The film is fun, but some of its humor can be lost because audiences are not familiar with Waters’s taste for comedy.  Although, it is one of his most mainstream films it enjoys a cult-like status for its successes and its shortcomings.


Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: N/A

This Film Is Not Yet Rated because THEY said so

11 Jan


In 1966, The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) replaced the out-of-date Hays code with a new rating system that has evolved into our current understanding of the familiar letter grades.  Most artists understand the rating system’s purpose, but many disagree with the committee’s subjective censorship policies in regards to sex and nudity.

One of the ways to protect the MPAA’s rating board from outside influence is to keep their names anonymous from the public. Filmmaker Kirby Dick wants to know who these people are and their qualifications for such a powerful position. Dick hires a private investigator to track down these people’s identities while he inserts interviews with several prominent directors and clips from their films. His research reveals a prejudice against homosexuality and the female gender in particular, but a high tolerance for violence. The documentary is one-sided, but reveals some interesting facts about the movie business that have been kept in the “closet” for too long.


Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: B