Simply divine if this is your idea of refined

Roll up, cinephiles, throughout the month of April, the capital city plays host to the fifth annual CPH:PIX film festival, a place for established filmmakers from across the world to share the screen with up-and-coming talents. Alongside many world exclusive film releases, the brilliant programme also includes a handful of experimental events that you’d be a fool to miss.

Best and most devilish of all is the appropriately entitled ‘Pink Flamingos: A Tribute to Bad Taste’ bonanza. On Friday 19 April, Kødbyen’s finest live arts exhibition space Warehouse9 will be transformed into an emporium of sinful decadence, cheap thrills and downright dirtiness to commemorate the 25-year anniversary since Lady Divine shuffled off this mortal coil.

‘Who is Divine?’ I hear you cry. Also known as ‘the Queen of Filth’, ‘the Godzilla of drag queens’ or by her birth name Harris Glenn Milstead, she was the cult icon of Camp America’s counterculture and the LGBTQ community. The original peddler of bad taste, she became infamous for her work with fellow Baltimore native and ‘Pope of Trash’ filmmaker John Waters. A lifelong working partnership, the duo went on to make some of the most transgressive works of modern American cinema, including classics such as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and Hairspray (the last of which was recently adapted into a Tony award-winning Broadway musical).

But Divine’s stardom doesn’t stop there. Far from just just corrupting the minds of cinema-goers, the multi-talented goddess went on to have a successful music career, with singles like ‘Born to Be Cheap’ and ‘Walk Like a Man’, cropping up in disco halls and pirate radio stations across North America and Europe.

While the work she left behind is slight, Divine’s social significance cannot be overstated. Bestowed with the title ‘Drag Queen of the Century’ by People Magazine, she empowered the most outspoken and ostracised people in society, igniting a new way of liberal thinking towards gender issues and equality.

To celebrate such an important, outsider artist, organisers are unsurprisingly keeping rather hush-hush about exactly what ticket holders will be letting themselves in for. What is guaranteed is a night of full-on eccentricity, with drag queen bingo, naughty cocktails, and rare screenings of Divine and Waters’ early film collaborations, projected in the original 16mm film stock. As the night gets a little darker (and dirtier), the after-party will kick in when Copenhagen-based performance artists Miss Fish and DJ Gul take to the stage for a special show that proves Divine’s legacy lives on long after her death.

Most exciting about this special, one night only event is its intimacy. Limited to 100 guests, if you want to be let loose in the nuthouse, you better snap up your tickets quick!

 

Pink Flamingos: A Tribute to Bad Taste?
Warehouse9, Halmtorvet 11c, Cph V; Fri 19:00; Tickets: 100kr, www.cphpix.dk/p/film.lasso?ser=1947