John Waters - Role Models (4 stars)

John Waters - Role Models

Essays from American filmmaker, writer and artist pasy homage to mad genius

Role Models
(Beautiful Books)

It’s been almost 30 years since outsider American filmmaker, writer and artist John Waters’ remarkable autobiography Shock Value cemented his perverse worldview and artistic transgressions with an all too rare honesty. Role Models is a selection of fine essays and articles, brought together to pay homage to the eccentrics, the mad, the fools and the classy icons to whom Waters feels a debt of gratitude.

Fantastic interviews with Johnny Mathis, Little Richard, the daughter of lesbian stripper Zorro, danger-seeking pornographers Bobby Garcia and David Hurles and painter Cy Twombly among others form a platform of dissection and distraction upon which our host traces an alternative history of gay America. Waters is a passionate, occasionally brilliant interviewer and a warm and direct memoirist, though a little editorial control and judicious cutting here and there wouldn’t have gone amiss. Still, these Waters certainly run deep into an underworld of profane geniuses.

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