Don't know if you've received a reply yet, but I would suggest you
contact his agent, Rick Kurtzman at CAA here in Beverly Hills. Phone
number: 310/288.4545 (this information from the Directors Guild:
213/851.3671, available for basic director contact info, assuming they
are a DGA member, 9AM-1PM and 2-5PM, PST).
Yes, saw him @ ALA and he told his story about PECKER originally
scheduled for an NC-17, until he appealed to the board and said four
words: "Ever hear of OCTOPUSSY?" [He did finally win out and received an
Personally, I'd say that any theater that won't show PECKER apparently
solely due to it's title [which refers to eating habits -- he "pecks at
his food like a bird...," not a body part] is pretty lame, and should be
told so, boycotted, publicized, etc. Just think of all those
other "suggestively titled" movies or out and out "sexploitation" films that
get exhibited routinely. Wonder if it comes down to male body parts vs.
female, whether suggested at or shown? I'd be willing to bet that if John
Waters had released the film under it's production/working title, which
escapes me at the moment, if there would be any controversy at all.
And, besides all that, the film has an "R" rating. [Hello?] The
actual MPAA cite reads: "Rated R for sexuality, graphic nudity, language
and brief drug use." One can certainly argue with the MPAA's terminology
here. [And there's no mention of one character's apparent addiction to
plain ole sugar, unless that's covered by "brief drug use"!]
But, I bet JW is reveling in the moment & the controversy, which has
only caused more people to see the film anyway, since with all respect
to JW (whose work I personaly _love_; a major indie talent, IMHO, despite an
occasional forray into 'big budget' Hollywood), PECKER isn't exactly a huge
box office draw, despite the 'names' in the cast. The film cost a mere
$6million to make, but as of late September was playing on only 189
screens & has to date made less than $600,000. And I'm sure that those
disappointing figures are in large part due to theater reluctance to
screen anything they have pre-determined, in advance of having seen the
film as "not suitable family entertainment." But may also be due to
the fact that PECKER is decidedly "not for everyone," equaling in
their eyes theater losses, etc.
And just try contemplating if he could get such films as: HAG IN A BLACK
LEATHER JACKET, EAT YOUR MAKE UP!, MONDO TRASHO, FEMALE TROUBLE, etc.,
not to mention his probably best-known indie work, PINK FLAMINGOS, etc.
produced, released and distributed given the current Hollywood
mentality, not to mention the MPAA..... Of course, part of his and these
films' charm is that they are so firmly outside the mainstream.
BTW, he is officially cited by the DGA as "John Waters
(II)" since there was a "John Waters (I)," also a director, often
credited as "John S. Waters." The latter died in 1965.
And, for all you PECKER/John Waters fans, not to mention 'shutterbugs,' out
there, be sure to check out the FINE LINE FEATURES website for info on the
PECKER photo contest <http://www.flf.com/pecker>. Deadline for entry is, I
believe, Oct. 20.
And, too, you could also contact FINE LINE themselves about the situation
in Tulsa/Oklahoma City.
<ok, end of rant...>
Henry <a JW fan from way back when....>
Henry K. Mattoon
National Moving Image Database
The American Film Institute
Los Angeles, CA
On Mon, 5 Oct 1998, mjaesch wrote:
> Hi All,
> Does anyone out there have contact information for John Waters? I know
> he was at the big get together in D.C. which some of you attended.
> The reason I ask is because a group I belong to here in Tulsa would like
> to show Pecker. It has been said that Tulsa and Oklahoma City will not
> be showing this film at local theatres due to its title?! Anyways, we
> would like to bring it to Tulsa, on 16mm or 35mm.
> Any help would be appreciated.
> Myles Jaeschke
> Tulsa City-County Library
> BTW--Is anybody out there going the NMM?