John Waters: Movie-Mad Teen Runaway at Anthology Film Archives 

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Do you want to say anything else about Anthology, or about Jonas Mekas?

Well, I just think that he's a role model of mine. Because when I was a kid, 15 years old, and read those columns, he made me believe I could have this career. I lived in the suburbs in Baltimore—they didn't show underground movies there, at all. If I didn't read that column and even better, Film Culture Magazine, which I have many, many issues that are quite valuable today—which they should be—I pored over those issues, and so they gave me hope. And they were my secret friends. I couldn't talk about anybody in Catholic high school about Film Culture. They didn't know about that. They didn't want to talk about the Kuchar brothers—they never heard of them, and they would have hated them if they had.

And reading that you felt like, "This is what I can do. This is what I have to do"?

And seeing them! I would forge false permission slips that I was going to school on weekends, so I could go to New York on the Trailways bus alone and see them.

On the Trailways bus?

Yeah, or hitchhiking. I stayed in New York. We were just asking on the street if we could stay. I stayed in scary, really scary tenements and stuff. Yes! Worth it. It was exciting. I was a kid. It was fun.


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