Thursday, November 21st, 2019 Effusive Spectatorship: John Waters’s Midnight Movies

Thursday, November 21, 20194:00PM - 6:00PM208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place


CSUS Graduate Student Workshop


This talk examines director John Waters’s film Pink Flamingos in relation to the midnight movie circuit in major American metropolises during the 1970s. The exhibition practice of screening cult films that tended to transgress social mores late at night fomented a social and participatory form of spectatorship, in which boisterous, effusive responses were encouraged. This talk positions John Waters as a crucial figure in the theorization of spectatorship that extends beyond the space of the theatre through publicity campaigns, and that encourages viewing practices that are opposed to the mainstream etiquette of contemplative viewing. Waters’s work instrumentalizes transgressive imagery in a way that ruptures the separation between the screen and audience, galvanizing a sense of community amongst his cast, crew and their late night fanatics.


Nikola Milicic


Kate Russell

If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements.

Disclaimer: Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at or 416-946-8900.