1988 / 92 min. /
Director: John Waters
Cast: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine

This Filthy John Waters Retrospective: HAIRSPRAY

This December at The Royal Cinema, we’re getting down and dirty with a curated selection of some of John Waters most iconic works for a six-part retrospective! Prepare yourself for some of the most downright filthy films ever created, with a video introduction from the Pope of Trash himself!

Poking his big toe into the mainstream, John Waters came sort of clean with Hairspray – the iconic campy musical set in 1962 Baltimore. Ricki Lake stars as Tracy Turnblad, a curvaceous and lively teenager who can dance better than anyone, so she decides to audition for the teen dance show, The Corny Collins Show. Her best friend Penny is too nervous to make it through the audition, and the next girl, Nadine, is cut immediately for being black, then invited to try again for the day at the end of the month reserved for POC. After that, Tracy makes it onto the cast after she nails her number, much to the dismay of the reigning dance queen Amber Von Tussle. Tracy dances her way into the hearts of many, but soon realizes the implications of the racial segregation on the show and begins rallying against it, using her new found fame to promote integration.

Still employing John Waters’ brand of wit and penchant for trash but on a much more family-friendly scale, Hairspray was the first of his films to really appeal on a mass level. Featuring his leading lady Divine as Edna Turnblad, and offering a much deserved taste of Hollywood fame for the actor before his untimely death three weeks after the premiere, this film pushed the Waters troupe into a widely known market with something the crew hadn’t quite done before. Hairspray may not have dog poop eating, singing buttholes or giant lobsters like some of his earlier works, but it remains as an infectious and hilarious cult classic that’ll make you want to get up and dance in our aisles.

Sponsored by: Eyesore Cinema!

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