This week, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) finishes up its celebration of the legendary drag queen Divine. Last week and this week, the Brooklyn institution has been paying tribute to the queer legend whose partnership with director John Waters made her a household name.
There are just two screenings left in the I Am Divine series that BAM has been hosting, and only one starring Divine herself, so if you want to check out the “World’s Filthiest Person” on the big screen, be sure to head to BAMcinématek this Wednesday or Thursday.
Move over, John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky. Showing on Wednesday, October 3 at 4:30, 7:00, and 9:30pm, the original 1988 “Hairspray” stars Divine as Edna Turnblad, alongside Ricki Lake. A peppy, campy masterpiece, it was hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “Waters’s best movie,” and marks Divine’s final film appearance.
Divine isn’t actually in this film, but it was chosen for the lineup because it stars the queen’s idol, Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor and her sometimes-husband Richard Burton play the lead roles in this adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s play “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.” Waters describes it as “the best failed art film ever,” calling Taylor’s part “the ultimate drag queen role” and a major influence on him and Divine.