John Waters has spent the last year and a half happily working on his latest book, a novel about a woman who steals suitcases at airports. Technically his first novel, it’s called “Liarmouth,” subtitle “A Feel Bad Romance,” and is set for release in May of next year. During an in-person interview during this year’s Provincetown Film Festival, where he serves as unofficial emcee and hostess with the mostess, the director said that while the pandemic didn’t change his daily life too much, he’s itching to get back to the movies.
“I’m sick of watching stuff on TV, I’m sick of virtual everything,” said Waters, before rattling off a list of some of his quarantine watches. Some of his recent viewings include “Halston,” the Netflix show made by his friends Dan Minahan and Christine Vachon. True to his varied tastes, he also enjoyed “I, Sniper,” a Vice documentary about the Washington, D.C. sniper, as well as “Genius: Aretha.”
He was thrilled to get back into theaters during the Provincetown Film Festival, where he caught “In the Heights” at the drive-in. He was particularly tickled by the Swedish documentary “The Most Beautiful Boy in the World,” which premiered at Sundance earlier this year. The film charts the effects of fame on teenage actor Björn Andrésen, who shot to international renown after appearing in Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film “Death in Venice.”
“The subject matter was great,” said Waters. “It was just amazing to imagine that Visconti could have gone around to junior highs where the topless children were paraded in front of him to pick for the part. Can you imagine that today?”
He’s newly feeling comfortable inside a theater, despite the threat of an invented mutant strain he has dubbed “Cov-AIDS.” Still, the return of drive-ins has been a welcome one for the filmmaker, who has fond memories of the drive-ins of his youth.
“When I was young, drive-ins were all exploitation films,” said Waters. “Now they’re all families, G-rated movies. I hope they go back. Are there exploitation films? I’m looking forward to the first Covid exploitation movie. Covid-sploition! The virus comes back or somebody purposely spreads it, David Cronenberg should do it.”
He mentions that the New York Department of Health put out a safer sex statement encouraging surrounding sexual parts with barriers.
“What’s that mean, like gloryholes? Kissing is the worst thing. You can’t kiss. Kissing is unsafe sex. So it’s always something,” said Waters. “I do fear Cov-AIDS, because people are just wild again, they’re pent up. I hope there is no such thing. Maybe that would be the exploitation movie. Or the porn.”