The Diane Linkletter Story

The Fatal Glass of Beer, or W.C. Fields meets Andy Warhol.



An almost picture-perfect work of art, with a sort of calculation in the setup that requires (and gets) a transfigured punchline the critics couldn’t follow.

The major precedent is William Wellman’s Magic Town. Waters’ Baltimore is Mayberry in the masque of time, bearing the high water marks of ensuing decades as well as a dingy little strip club and a big gay bar where the beefcake dances on the bar and teabagging is forbidden.

Waters’ perception is truly unique, it’s Postmodern society as a longsuffered dreary afterthought, out of any ideas at all but somehow there. A cheerful young photographer finds himself famous for his views “down there,” but turns the tables on New York in the end.

Two critics describe his photographs. “They really are wonderful. I mean, they’re like a humane Diane Arbus.” “Yes, but with a wonderful streak of kindness.”

That’s perfect, but opening his own gallery in Baltimore (“Pecker’s Place”) is better. Better than perfect is almost perfect, right?