What do a giant lobster and a crossdresser have in common? I have absolutely no idea but they're both featured in Multiple Maniacs, a film by John Waters that was recently announced to be restored by The Criterion Collection and Janus Films.
It's hard not to sensationalize anything John Waters does because he makes it so, so easy (see headlines: The Filthiest Filmmaker Alive and The Baltimore Bard of Trash and Sleaze). But how do you sensationalize a film restoration? You don't. You remain pragmatic, calm, and when you don't have all the answers you cop to it, which is how Waters always does interviews.
In this great one-on-one with Witney Seibold for the Crave Online Film Channel, Waters is his usual unperturbed self. Opening up about the film Multiple Maniacs, he admits that the last time it was screened it was falling apart and "burning up."
Luckily it is being restored, and "Lobstora" (a very... interesting character in the film) will live forever. Great insight into the method behind the madness that is John Waters.
It had been out of circulation for a long time for lots of different issues, and I was hoping always to find the right one. Then The Lincoln Center gave me a big tribute about two years ago, and they showed all the movies. And they showed Multiple Maniacs – this was in “historical context,” they called it – and that was the last 16mm of the film. And it was burning up in the projector. It was falling apart. And I think the people from Criterion had come, and they approached me, and I knew it had to be done, and I was very eager to do it.