180 Great Directors: Paul Verhoeven

“People seem to have this strange idea that films can influence people to be violent, but in my sincere opinion film only reflects the violence of society.”

What Got This Director Here?
: A mix of things. Mostly Starship Troopers.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Elle.

What Did I Watch: Showgirls.

Where Does He Fit: Showgirls being taken so seriously that it swept the Razzies is one of those things that makes everyone involved with the institutions of criticism look bad. It’s admittedly totally committed to its bonkers highwire act, and it relies heavily on a performance from Elizabeth Berkeley that needs to be pretty awful in order to work, while national treasure Gina Gershon is deliciously, knowingly campy. Everything is expensive and deranged, the result of an auteur getting to do what he wants, and that scene at the end that made everyone turn on it feels like the nastiest forerunner to Elle ever.


Most Valuable Asset: The world is absurdly hypocritical.
Most Excited For: Black Book.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Absolutely. One of the best today.

Coming Up Next: New Queer Cinema legend Gus Van Sant.


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