It makes sick, sick sense that John Waters would come to the defense of Lars von Trier and Antichrist. The preeminent auteur of the gloriously depraved has offered up his 2009 year-end list for to Artforum, and it does not disappoint.
No. 4? Brüno, because, um: “Imagine a hetero teen couple in a mall on a first date somewhere in Middle America watching Sacha Baron Cohen pantomime every known gay male sex act, ending in a joyous ‘facial.’” From the reported hundreds of new movies Waters sees a year, he throws in some art-house titans—Lorna’s Silence, The Headless Woman, The Baader Meinhof Complex—and even finds a place for his favorite suffix, “philia,” in in gushing over Woody Allen’s Whatever Works.
And, of course, Waters’ von Trier love has to get a mention, though who does this really surprise? “If Ingmar Bergman had committed suicide, gone to hell, and come back to earth to direct an exploitation/art film for drive-ins,” he writes of Antichrist, his No. 2 pick, “this is the movie he would have made.” Whatever your opinion of the movie, it’s hard to argue with that, especially considering the source.
If nothing else, the list shows some pretty stellar taste for a man whose career is predicated on having none at all.