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May 26 2024
PUSSY FACE Galore: Checking Out The John Waters Exhibition At The Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures Comments (0)

*IMG_6319(All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.46 PMHung up on you

Earlier this month, I finally had an opportunity to tour the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in L.A., the long-awaited marquee tribute to filmmaking that opened in 2021. (Special thanks to my pal Michael Michaud, whose books you need to check out!)

*IMG_6312They call me the Grand Lobby!

It wasn't exactly what I expected — I know that I, like some, expected more of a costume institute — but it certainly has a wealth of interesting objects from across Hollywood history that help tell the story of the industry that eventually filled the imagination of the world.

*IMG_6326Every week is Shark Week.

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.44 PMThank ya, Easta Bunny — buk buk!

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.41 PMA special movie-makeup exhibition

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.54 PMHe needs no introduction.

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.50 PMNo water, no bright light, no feeding after dark ...

*IMG_6317A special hall display acknowledges trailblazing actresses.

Most interesting to me was the current exhibition, John Waters: Pope of Trash.

*IMG_6327When they go high culture, we go low culture ...

Out of all the filmmakers, how interesting that the one who made the most shoestring films wound up being his own best archivist?! When I tell you that Waters kept everything, I'm underselling it. The exhibition has an avalanche of costumes, receipts, notes and other ephemera from all of Waters's films, and includes such curiosities as Divine's birth certificate.

*IMG_6329A special screening room has mock stained-glass windows devoted to Waters's greatest icons.

*IMG_6349Divine would be 78 — a peer of Cher's and Dolly Parton's.

I felt so happy for Waters that he gets to be honored so lavishly by such a legit institution in his lifetime — there's a whole room for the relatively obscure Pecker! — even if it was a bit unsettling to see that Serial Mom is already museum-worthy.

*IMG_6345I wish it were an auction, not an exhibition.

*IMG_6345Every Waters flick is represented.

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.56.53 PMFemale Trouble (1974) — Electric chair

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.56.58 PMDesperate Living (1977) — Jean Hill's (1946-2013) tutu

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.04 PMHairspray (1988) — Clapboard & prop button

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.07 PMHairspray (1988) — Ricki Lake's (b. 1968) & Ruth Brown's (1928-2006) frocks

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.07 PMHairspray (1988) — Clayton Prince (b. 1965), Divine (1945-1988), Ricki Lake, Debbie Harry (b. 1945) & Cyrkle Milbourne's (b. 1970s) ensembles

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.01 PMHairspray (1988) — Pretty mind-blowing to see Ricki Lake & Divine's looks in person

Serial-momSerial Mom (1994) — Kathleen Turner (b. 1954) dress & prop letters

Screenshot 2024-05-26 at 2.57.15 PMCry-Baby (1990) — Johnny Depp's (1963) leather jacket

HuskyA Dirty Shame (2007) — prop Husky Bathroom Tissue with tongue hole

*IMG_6320I swear the HOLLYWOOD sign is visible in there.

Before we left, we checked out the view up top from across the Barbra Streisand Bridge. While it was a clear day, we could not see forever. Still, we could see the HOLLYWOOD sign.

*fannysUnlike most dessert trays, they hand you the one you pick — it's not just for show.

If you have time, check out Fanny's, the beautiful restaurant on site, branded to Fanny Brice. The food is amazing, even if the punny names of some of the dishes reallllly didn't work for me. For example, Gone with the Caesar Salad. Where is the artistry?!

Kudos to the Academy for the beautiful structure. What a dream job to be surrounded by artifacts all day.

Almodovar-postersA collection of Pedro Almodòvar (b. 1974) movie posters