The subversive comic thrust in John Waters’s eleventh film Cry Baby (1990), a teen musical starring Johnny Depp, finds the writer-director at “his most playfully demented” (Rolling Stone), while maintaining his deep affection for the grotesque. Set in 1954 Baltimore, the film features Depp as Cry Baby, a singing and weeping biker and Elvis look-alike. Amy Locane plays Allison, the singing society girl whom Cry Baby adores, and who is both thrilled and terrified by the promise that he is, indeed, as bad as they say. In the local phrasing, he's a drape and she's a square, but the two orphans refuse to give up, and insist on performing their broken hearts, bringing together Romeo and Juliet, Grease and lots of bodily fluids and black leather jackets.
(John Waters, 1990, 35mm, 85 min)
Preceded by shorts:
I, an Actress (George Kuchar, 1977, 16mm)
A Study in Choreography for Camera (Maya Deren, 1945, 16mm)
This is the second screening in a 2-part series presented in conjunction with the Department of Cinema and Media Studies 2015 Graduate Student Conference, Performing Bodies: Gesture, Affect, and Embodiment on Screen (April 17-18).
The conference is organized by Matt Hubbell (Ph.D. student, CMS), Noa Merkin (Ph.D. student, CMS), and Nicole Erin Morse (Ph.D. student, CMS), and is co-sponsored by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the Council on Advanced Studies, and the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council.