Somehow I became respectable. I don’t know how—the last film I directed got some terrible reviews and was rated NC-17. Six people in my personal phone book have been sentenced to life in prison. I did an art piece called Twelve Assholes and a Dirty Foot, which is composed of close-ups from porn films, yet a museum now has it in their permanent collection and nobody got mad. What the hell has happened?
I used to be despised but now I’m asked to give commencement addresses at prestigious colleges, attend career retrospectives at both the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the British Film Institute, and I even got a medal from the French government for “furthering the arts in France.” This cockeyed maturity is driving me crazy!
Suddenly the worst thing that can happen to a creative person has happened to me. I am accepted. How can I “struggle” when my onetime underground movies are now easily available? Even Multiple Maniacs was rehabilitated music-rights-wise and is back in theatrical release from Janus Films, the original distributor of Godard and Truffaut movies, for God’s sake. Pink Flamingos has played on television! How can I whine about my films being hard to see when Warner Bros. now handles many of my titles and Criterion, the classiest of all DVD distributors, is restoring some of my rudest celluloid atrocities? Even the Museum of Modern Art now has in their collection the elements of my earliest 8mm movies that have never been formally released, and, jeez, seven of the books I’ve written are still in print and two of them became New York Times best sellers. How could that be? How? Read More