Arts & Life
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This article was published 3/11/2010 (3643 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When renegade filmmaker John Waters speaks at the Garrick Centre tonight on the subject My City's Still Breathing, he'll be talking about a subject that applies equally to both cities and himself: reinvention.
"The only way you can continue to breathe is keep reinventing and looking at something and celebrating it in a different way, which has been my whole career, basically," he says.
Waters was largely a cult director before his crossover film Hairspray hit a wider audience and yielded a hit Broadway musical. Nevertheless, Waters still finds it difficult to get a film funded.
"I have this movie called Fruitcake that I've got in development," Waters says, adding he hasn't had much luck getting it made.
"There's no foreign sales any more. The business template that I knew for independent film is gone," he says. "It's not just me that can't get a movie made, I don't know anyone who can get a $5-million independent movie made."
Waters's contribution to the four-day symposium My City's Still Breathing will be to suggest that a city, like an individual, must be willing to adapt to a changing world.
"It will touch some on my career, and it will touch on how I'm trying to reinvent myself now when I can't get a movie made, about what to do," he says. "You too have backup plans.
"That's why I wrote a book called Role Models," he says, referring to a recently published collection of essays and memoirs of some of the people Waters has known in his life, ranging from celebrated artists to "outsider" gay pornographers to a notorious Baltimore lesbian stripper known as Zorro.
"I'm always trying to be ahead of what's coming," Waters says. "I always just tell stories and it doesn't matter if I do it in a book or a movie or my artwork or in spoken-word acts. It's all the same."
-- Randall King
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