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|Cecil B. Demented by John Waters|
Eternally "hip" (or is it au courant?), John Waters has released Cecil B. Demented with a full-fledged website promotion on www.dementedforever.com. He also co-wrote a number of songs on the soundtrack, which at first impression "doesn't sound like a John Waters soundtrack" until you realize the frenetic, hard-driving pace of the film demands the hip-hop-to-punk aggressivity. The film's opening night featured a free "demented forever" postcard handout, which soon disappeared; a recent search on E-Bay revealed a set of four different postcards for auction; it's an educated guess that these were part of a promotional package sent to reviewers, and were possibly distributed regionally as part of a "target marketing" campaign. Well, Waters deserves the same marketing and branding expertise as any start-up corporation-deservedly more so, in my opinion. After viewing the film, my first question was, "Did John Waters make a vow when he was young to not 'lose his edge' when he got older?"|
For anyone who's ever made (or wanted to make) an independent film, Cecil B. offers some highly satisfying moments evoking the emotions of revenge and scorn toward stupid, corporate filmmaking-by-committee embracers. His "gerbil" joke has to be some kind of Richard Gere-urban legend reference. The idea of sacrificing one's very life to make one good film exactly as one would want it made-well, think of all the billions of lives that have anonymously consumed the earth's resources, leaving nil behind.
Sadly, at a Monday night screening 10 days after the film's San Francisco premiere, only about a dozen people attended the 7:15 PM show. More than ever, it's necessary to support independent artists! Well, at the least we hope that a DVD with a bonus narration track will appear within the year; a recent peak experience was the viewing of "Pecker" on DVD, followed by a subsequent watching of the entire film with Waters narrating--like having John in your very own living room. Amazing! Sometimes technology really can improve the quality of art--or is it life? We were happy to see, in the voluminous credits, that John still works with Mink Stole, Pat Moran, Vincent Peranio and Van Smith --creative associations lasting over 30 years to date. Probably the nicest thing in the world is to have friends you can mutate with ... That, and being able to do exactly what you want to do, in every detail. What more could you want? And for those of you who believe the bad reviews this film received, one question applies: "Who would you rather have in your home: some bourgeois film reviewer, or John Waters?"
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