‘The Blacklist’ Season Finale: Mystery Of The Bones Revealed, With Surprise Visits

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about tonight’s season finale of The Blacklist.
So about those bones…
That duffle bag of skeleton parts that’s been at the center of NBC’s The Blacklist throughout Season 5 has been m…

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about tonight’s season finale of The Blacklist. So about those bones… That duffle bag of skeleton parts that’s been at the center of NBC’s The Blacklist throughout Season 5 has been much debated by fans in the build-up to tonight’s season finale, and viewers can rest easy (or not) in the satisfaction of knowing that the bones belong to… Really, stop reading here if you don’t want to know. In an episode that included more than…

You never forget your kids’ first John Waters movie

The internet is choked with nostalgia for the youth-oriented entertainments of the not-too-distant past. With Memory Wipe, The A.V. Club takes a look at some of our formative favorites with clearer eyes and asks that all-important question: Were they really that great to begin with? This time out, two generations take

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The internet is choked with nostalgia for the youth-oriented entertainments of the not-too-distant past. With Memory Wipe, The A.V. Club takes a look at some of our formative favorites with clearer eyes and asks that all-important question: Were they really that great to begin with? This time out, two generations take

Read more...

Baby Driver tops John Waters’ list of the best films of 2017

One person whose opinions on movies we always find interesting is John Waters, given how influential his personal trash-cinema aesthetic has been over the past five decades. It just speaks well to his taste, you know? Anyway, today Waters released his annual list of the top 10 films of 2017, and as you might expect,…

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One person whose opinions on movies we always find interesting is John Waters, given how influential his personal trash-cinema aesthetic has been over the past five decades. It just speaks well to his taste, you know? Anyway, today Waters released his annual list of the top 10 films of 2017, and as you might expect,…

Read more...

John Waters’ Favorite Movies of 2017 Include ‘Baby Driver,’ ‘Wonderstruck’ and ‘The Strange Ones’

As with his movies, the “King of Bad Taste” always has a few surprises on his end of year list.

John Waters has been called the “Pope of Filth,” the “Sultan of Sleeze,” the “Prince of Puke,” and the “King of Bad Taste.” Naturally, who wouldn’t want to know his favorite films of the year? Known for pushing the envelope over the edge and back again with iconic films like “Cry Baby,” “Pink Flamingoes,” and “Hairspray,” the cult filmmaker is a devoted cinephile with a wide range of interests. Waters always has a few surprises on his yearly top ten list, and 2017 is no exception.

Topping the list is Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver,” a somewhat surprising choice for the fan of all things trashy and grotesque. Making a strong showing in third place is “The Strange Ones,” a psychological thriller and feature debut by Christopher Radcliff & Lauren Wolkstein. Waters also liked Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck” and Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel.”

There’s one film on the list all the way at number ten, which isn’t very surprising: “Tom of Finland,” the biopic of the eponymous fetish artist famous for his homoerotic drawings of muscle men in leather.

Without further ado, and courtesy of The Film Stage, John Water’s top ten films of 2017 are:

1. “Baby Driver” (Edgar Wright)
2. “I, Olga Hepnarová” (Tomáš Weinreb & Petr Kazda)
3. “The Strange Ones” (Christopher Radcliff & Lauren Wolkstein)
4. “Nocturama” (Bertrand Bonello)
5. “Wonderstruck” (Todd Haynes)
6. “Graduation” (Christian Mungiu)
7. “The Wizard of Lies” (Barry Levinson)
8. “Lady Macbeth” (William Oldroyd)
9. “Wonder Wheel” (Woody Allen)
10. “Tom of Finland” (Dome Karukoski)

Manson Girl Leslie Van Houten and John Waters: An Unlikely Friendship

Leslie Van Houten, the youngest member of Charles Manson’s cult, has been granted parole and could be released from prison if she is allowed to do so by California Gov. Jerry Brown. One of the people hoping for that release is famed transgressive filmmaker John Waters, who formed an unlikely friendship with Van Houten more than 30 years ago.

In 2009, Waters wrote a five-part essay series titled “Leslie Van Houten: A Friendship,” in which he discussed at length how he met and bonded with the former death row inmate and why he believes she should be set free.

“She looks back from prison on her involvement in the La Bianca murders (the night after the Tate massacre) in utter horror, shame, and guilt and takes full responsibility for her part in the crimes,” Waters wrote. “I think it’s time to parole her.”

Also Read: Quentin Tarantino to Write, Direct Film About Manson Murders

Waters wrote about how he had been fascinated with the Manson murders and subsequent trial for years. He even dedicated his most famous film, “Pink Flamingoes,” to the women in the Manson family, though he says he’s come to regret how he referred to the murders in a “jokey, smart-ass way…without the slightest feeling for the victims’ families or the lives of the brainwashed Manson killer kids who were also victims in this sad and terrible case.”

Then, in 1985, Rolling Stone asked Waters to interview Manson in prison. But Waters was more interested in Van Houten, believing that had she not encountered Manson, she could have “ended up making movies with us instead of running with the killer dune-buggy crowd.” Van Houten was at first very guarded when responding to Waters, but eventually she warmed up to him and invited him to visit her in prison.

Waters wrote that he’s visited Van Houten in jail every year since, and laments that her reputation has only worsened as the Manson murders have become ingrained in pop culture as one of the most macabre true stories of the 20th century. Waters said that he wonders if Van Houten will ever be able to fully recover despite her remorse.

Also Read: Charles Manson Follower Patricia Krenwinkel Denied Parole After 47 Years

“Can you ever recover from being called ‘a human mutant” or a “monster’ by the government, especially when you know that they were right at one time in your life?” Waters asks. “How do you begin to deal with the pain of the victims’ relatives when the world has turned your former image into a Halloween costume? With patience. God knows, Leslie Van Houten has patience.”

Over the next five months, California state officials will review the parole grant. If the decision stands, it will be sent to Gov. Brown for approval. Brown denied Van Houten parolein the in 2016, citing the “shocking nature of the crimes” Van Houten committed.

Representatives for Waters did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Leslie Van Houten, Charles Manson’s Youngest Follower, Granted Parole

Quentin Tarantino to Write, Direct Film About Manson Murders

Charles Manson Follower Patricia Krenwinkel Denied Parole After 47 Years

Leslie Van Houten, the youngest member of Charles Manson’s cult, has been granted parole and could be released from prison if she is allowed to do so by California Gov. Jerry Brown. One of the people hoping for that release is famed transgressive filmmaker John Waters, who formed an unlikely friendship with Van Houten more than 30 years ago.

In 2009, Waters wrote a five-part essay series titled “Leslie Van Houten: A Friendship,” in which he discussed at length how he met and bonded with the former death row inmate and why he believes she should be set free.

“She looks back from prison on her involvement in the La Bianca murders (the night after the Tate massacre) in utter horror, shame, and guilt and takes full responsibility for her part in the crimes,” Waters wrote. “I think it’s time to parole her.”

Waters wrote about how he had been fascinated with the Manson murders and subsequent trial for years. He even dedicated his most famous film, “Pink Flamingoes,” to the women in the Manson family, though he says he’s come to regret how he referred to the murders in a “jokey, smart-ass way…without the slightest feeling for the victims’ families or the lives of the brainwashed Manson killer kids who were also victims in this sad and terrible case.”

Then, in 1985, Rolling Stone asked Waters to interview Manson in prison. But Waters was more interested in Van Houten, believing that had she not encountered Manson, she could have “ended up making movies with us instead of running with the killer dune-buggy crowd.” Van Houten was at first very guarded when responding to Waters, but eventually she warmed up to him and invited him to visit her in prison.

Waters wrote that he’s visited Van Houten in jail every year since, and laments that her reputation has only worsened as the Manson murders have become ingrained in pop culture as one of the most macabre true stories of the 20th century. Waters said that he wonders if Van Houten will ever be able to fully recover despite her remorse.

“Can you ever recover from being called ‘a human mutant” or a “monster’ by the government, especially when you know that they were right at one time in your life?” Waters asks. “How do you begin to deal with the pain of the victims’ relatives when the world has turned your former image into a Halloween costume? With patience. God knows, Leslie Van Houten has patience.”

Over the next five months, California state officials will review the parole grant. If the decision stands, it will be sent to Gov. Brown for approval. Brown denied Van Houten parole in the in 2016, citing the “shocking nature of the crimes” Van Houten committed.

Representatives for Waters did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Leslie Van Houten, Charles Manson's Youngest Follower, Granted Parole

Quentin Tarantino to Write, Direct Film About Manson Murders

Charles Manson Follower Patricia Krenwinkel Denied Parole After 47 Years

Leslie Van Houten, Charles Manson’s Youngest Follower, Granted Parole

Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s followers, has been granted parole nearly 50 years after the Manson family murders that terrified Hollywood and the nation.

Van Houten was only 19 when she took part in the summer of 1969 killings. But she was not with the family when they killed actress Sharon Tate and four others. On Wednesday, after twenty previous attempts, she finally managed to persuade a California parole panel she was reformed and deserved to be released.

BREAKING: Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten granted parole by California board.

— The Associated Press (@AP) September 6, 2017

But her imprisonment may not be over: A similar panel at the California Institution for Women in Chino, where Van Houten is incarcerated, tentatively granted her parole last year. But Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, gathered 140,000 signatures opposing her release, and Gov. Jerry Brown overruled it, according to CBS News.

Also Read: Charles Manson Follower Patricia Krenwinkel Denied Parole After 47 Years

Brown was an unlikely candidate to join a death cult: She was a high school homecoming princess and cheerleader before she dropped out to join the roaming gang of career criminal Manson, who read books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to learn to be more manipulative.

Van Houten has previously described her role in the killing of Los Angeles grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969. At her parole hearing last year, Van Houten said she helped hold down Rosemary La Bianca while another follower stabbed her repeatedly. She then took up a knife herself and added more than a dozen stab wounds.

Also Read: Ratings: Charles Manson Drama ‘Aquarius’ Debut Doesn’t Kill Key Demo

While serving her sentence, she became a model prisoner,  and unlikely friend of “Hairspray” director John Waters, who once wrote of her:
I have a really good friend who was convicted of killing two innocent people when she was nineteen years old on a horrible night of 1969 cult madness. Her name is Leslie Van Houten and I think you would like her as much as I do. She was one of those notorious ‘Manson girls’ who shaved their heads, carved X’s in their foreheads and laughed, joked, and sang their way through the courthouse straight to death row without the slightest trace of remorse forty years ago. Leslie is hardly a ‘Manson girl’ today. Sixty years old, she looks back from prison on her involvement in the La Bianca murders (the night after the Tate massacre) in utter horror, shame, and guilt and takes full responsibility for her part in the crimes.

In June, fellow follower Patricia Krenwinkel was denied parole for the 14th time and will not be considered again for another five years. Having already served 47 years behind bars, the 69-year-old is now the longest-serving female inmate in all of California’s prison system.

Manson, now 82, remains behind bars in California.

Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s followers, has been granted parole nearly 50 years after the Manson family murders that terrified Hollywood and the nation.

Van Houten was only 19 when she took part in the summer of 1969 killings. But she was not with the family when they killed actress Sharon Tate and four others. On Wednesday, after twenty previous attempts, she finally managed to persuade a California parole panel she was reformed and deserved to be released.

But her imprisonment may not be over: A similar panel at the California Institution for Women in Chino, where Van Houten is incarcerated, tentatively granted her parole last year. But Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, gathered 140,000 signatures opposing her release, and Gov. Jerry Brown overruled it, according to CBS News.

Brown was an unlikely candidate to join a death cult: She was a high school homecoming princess and cheerleader before she dropped out to join the roaming gang of career criminal Manson, who read books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to learn to be more manipulative.

Van Houten has previously described her role in the killing of Los Angeles grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969. At her parole hearing last year, Van Houten said she helped hold down Rosemary La Bianca while another follower stabbed her repeatedly. She then took up a knife herself and added more than a dozen stab wounds.

While serving her sentence, she became a model prisoner,  and unlikely friend of “Hairspray” director John Waters, who once wrote of her:
I have a really good friend who was convicted of killing two innocent people when she was nineteen years old on a horrible night of 1969 cult madness. Her name is Leslie Van Houten and I think you would like her as much as I do. She was one of those notorious ‘Manson girls’ who shaved their heads, carved X’s in their foreheads and laughed, joked, and sang their way through the courthouse straight to death row without the slightest trace of remorse forty years ago. Leslie is hardly a ‘Manson girl’ today. Sixty years old, she looks back from prison on her involvement in the La Bianca murders (the night after the Tate massacre) in utter horror, shame, and guilt and takes full responsibility for her part in the crimes.

In June, fellow follower Patricia Krenwinkel was denied parole for the 14th time and will not be considered again for another five years. Having already served 47 years behind bars, the 69-year-old is now the longest-serving female inmate in all of California’s prison system.

Manson, now 82, remains behind bars in California.

John Waters Touts New Indie Theater as ‘Heartbeat’ of Baltimore Film — Watch

The newly-restored Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway theater opened Wednesday as the new home of the Maryland Film Festival.

There’s a new independent film venue in Baltimore, and John Waters is the theater’s biggest fan. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway, a newly-renovated three-screen theater in the heart of Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District, opened Wednesday for the first night of the 2017 Maryland Film Festival, which will now call the theater home. Waters’ 1974 film “Female Trouble” will be the first title to play at the theater following the conclusion of the Maryland Film Festival.

READ MORE: Trump Protest Screenings of ‘1984’: Here’s What Audiences Had to Say After One Packed Screening

“You need a theater like the Parkway to be the heartbeat where everybody comes, a center where everybody can hang out and meet people that are trying to do the same thing you are,” Waters said in a video about the renovation of the theater. “We will be able to see all the [indie films] that you read about that play for maybe a week in New York and you never get to see if you live here….This is the perfect jewel to open here and make the neighborhood keep growing, and I think that happening is very much dependent on this theater working.”

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theater

Maryland Film Festival

The opening of the Parkway followed an $18.2 million renovation of the “rescued ruin,” which first opened in 1915 and served the Baltimore community until 1978. On Thursday, the theater will screen Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson new HBO film, “The Wizard of Lies” at the fest, with a special appearance by Levinson.

The Parkway will feature “bold programming that showcases films from every era, region and genre, with a focus on independent, international, documentary, classic, and cult-favorite films, providing audiences with a fresh and immersive new window into the art form,” according to a statement. The Parkway will also provide classroom space for film students and serve as a year-round hub for film education.

“What Baltimore needs right now is more movie screens and specifically more movie screens that program these smaller independent films,” Maryland Film Festival director Jed Dietz said in the video.

READ MORE: Camp John Waters Invites You to Sing Karaoke and Play Bloody Mary Bingo With the ‘Pink Flamingos’ Director

To learn more about the Parkway’s history, renovation, and future, check out the video below.

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