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Plagues & Pleasures On The Salton Sea To Wash Over NYC

By Mike Everleth ⋅ October 6, 2006

Older woman standing next to a golf cart in the desert

Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea, the hit documentary about the most disgusting place in Southern California — yes, even grosser than a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon’s dumpster — is coming back to New York City for not one, but two special screenings the week of Oct. 9th. (The film played in July at a Rooftop Films screening.)

While the Underground Film Journal has yet to review the film (hopefully soon), it did tie for the Best Documentary award at the 2006 Melbourne Underground Film Festival. And if you go to the film’s official site, you’ll see that it’s won a bushel or two of Best Doc awards at festivals around the world.

Here’s a description of the film from their site:

Once known as the “California Riviera,” the Salton Sea is now called one of America’s worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Yet a few hardy eccentrics hang on to hope, including a roadside nudist waving at passing European tourists, a man building a religious mountain out of mud and paint, beer-loving Hungarian Revolutionary Hunky Daddy, and the real-estate “Ronald McDonald” known simply as The Landman. Through their perceptions and misperceptions, the strange history and unexpected beauty of the Salton Sea is revealed.

Directed by Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, the doc is also narrated by John Waters. Screening info:

Monday, October 9th – 7:00pm
The IFC Center – Ecotopia Film Series
323 Sixth Avenue (at West 3rd Street)

Thursday, October 12th – 7:00pm
Evil City Film Festival at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater
155 East Third Street (Avenues A & B)

So, if you’re in NYC, you should plan to attend at least one night. Co-director Chris Metzler will be in attendance for a Q&A after both screenings. Go and ask him how he landed John Waters for the narration. It’s a cool story.