Free and open to the public!

Join us for free screenings of the young Waters's very first forays into filmmaking. Made in his late teens and early twenties, these embryonic, DIY shorts are wildly subversive and scandalously irreverent, a glimpse of an already prodigious talent.

Film stills © Dreamland Productions

Hag in a Black Leather Jacket
John Waters, USA, 1964, 17m

In Waters’s first short—shot on stolen 8mm film for $30 on his parents’ rooftop when he was still a teenager, and screened precisely once after its completion—a wedding ceremony between an African-American man and a white ballerina takes a turn for the surreal.

Roman Candles
John Waters, USA, 1966, 40m

Under the influence of Warhol’s Chelsea Girls, Waters designed this free-form, disruptive collage of image and sound to be triple-projected on three screens side by side. Roman Candles found Waters, then fresh out of film school, testing out a handful of techniques he’d refine in his first two features, not to mention working for the first time with many of the actors—Divine, David Lochary, Mink Stole—who would soon become constant presences in his life and work.

Eat Your Makeup
John Waters, USA, 1968, 45m

Maelcum Soul—“the Kiki of Baltimore”—plays a nanny who forces young women to suffer brutal deaths-by-modeling in Waters’s first narrative short, which also includes a 17-year-old Divine doing his best Jackie Kennedy impression.

  • Directed By John Waters
  • 1964-1968
  • USA
  • DVD
  • 102 minutes