Opening Night – I Am Divine

Director Jeffrey Schwarz and actress Mink Stole in attendance

Thurs, May 16, 2013, 6:30 Reception, 8pm Film
McMenamins Bagdad Theater
Pre-Film Reception tickets no longer available.
Join us at the after party at Back Stage

One of the unlikeliest movie stars ever to grace the silver screen, Divine burst into notoriety as “the Filthiest Woman Alive” in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos. Growing up as Glenn Milstead in 1950s Baltimore, the chubby effeminate teen became acquainted with the young Waters, who was assembling an entourage of outcasts to produce hilariously shocking no-budget movies.

With Waters’ encouragement, Glenn demolished existing conventions of drag, unleashing his ferocious alter-ego Divine in early films like Mondo Trasho and Multiple Maniacs . These films, made with frequent co-star Mink Stole, played to Baltimore’s demimonde in rented churches. Pink Flamingos and the subsequent Female Trouble became huge underground hits. These films remain unsurpassed in their magnificent trashiness.

Divine also was a stage performer – in his early years with San Francisco’s Cockettes, and later in shows like The Neon Woman and Women Behind Bars. As Waters’ films became more elaborate, with bigger budgets, Divine starred in the scratch-and-sniff comedy Polyester and the PG-rated Hairspray, which put him on the cusp of the mainstream success and worldwide stardom he had always dreamed of.

The influence of Divine on both queer culture and pop culture is undeniable, and Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary is a highly entertaining and touching tribute to both the star and the man. With the same empathy and heart he showed in his film VITO (the closing night film at last year’s QDoc), Schwarz invites us all to get to know the man behind the mascara.

I Am Divine: Dir Jeffrey Schwarz 2013 USA 90 min.

Sponsored by Q Center

Community Partners: Imperial Sovereign Rose Court; Salon Q

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