Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hairspray (movie review)

This is about the 1988 John Waters contribution, with Divine & Company. I'm looking forward to this new one with Travolta & Co., a topic of discussion among Quaker youth these days.

This is fantastic ethnography, when knowing stellates pointedly poke fun at their own historical context, in this case the early 1960s, high school teen culture (pre Buffy).

The hippies are just beginning (cite Cool Cat & Chick, both brilliantly played), however Jahiliyyah is already in full swing, in this Elvis lookalike contest (a few James Dean wannabes).

Amazing to think these people'd be invading Iraq down the road apiece (Vietnam first though, and still a presence in Korea).

That psychologist (psychiatrist?), played by John Waters himself, is the funniest character, all tricked out to deprogram, a shaman protecting his tribe.

Divine plays both the racist carnival boss and... well, Divine.

Waters enjoys this technique of zooming in on a colorless television, then zooming on through to reality, by upping the volume and changing to color. He does this several times, poking fun at the medium.