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michael
25-03-2005, 02:42 AM
Starship Troopers was on TV last night in Oz... it's pretty damn funny, with the satire being even more blatant now.

I remember at the time friends having heated discussions about the idea that it was just a really, really dumb action flick with incidentally fascistic overtones cos that's what Heinlein was like. I feel vindicated, having found this interview with Paul Verhoeven (http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=11987) just now, which has this fairly interesting comment about it:

Five years ago, most of the critics totally trashed that movie. They called me a nazi, saying I was idolizing Leni Riefenstahl. Now, that image has totally changed. A lot of people see now that the film is about the United States. The whole situation in Afghanistan is almost an exact copy of STARSHIP TROOPERS; the whole gung ho-mentality of bombing everything, blasting the Taliban-forces out of the caves. I put all that in STARSHIP TROOPERS! The corrupted atmosphere of propaganda, once invented by Goebbels, has now taken over the United States as well. It's extremely interesting to see how the media can besiege an entire nation with propaganda.

Apparently the DVD commentary is explicit about parts that deliberately emulate The Triumph Of The Will and things like that, from what I've read on the web today.

Verhoeven also mentions that of the 6 films he did in the States, 3 were not totally mainstream - Starship Troopers, Robocop and Showgirls. The first two are the only Verhoeven films I've seen, but I've heard a lot of really bad things about Showgirls and have no interest in seeing his straight genre flicks.

Does anyone have any comments on Showgirls? Are Verhoeven's earlier films of any interest?

Actually, he slags Showgirls himself later in that interview...

cortempond
11-04-2005, 05:23 PM
If anyone is interested into entering the twisted world of Paul Verhoeven, I would recommend looking at the Fourth Man. It is a brilliant psycho-sexual thriller that has some incredible visuals and a halluncinatory, surreal feel to it. Then Soldier Of Orange, Spetters, Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers.

If you are watching his films on DVD, make sure you listen to the commentary tracks. Verhoeven is a riot to listen to, as well as very detailed about every aspect of the film. Very educational, informative and funny as hell. Def. get Starship Troopers just for the commentary tracks.

MBM
22-04-2005, 02:54 AM
Robocop was on TV late last Sunday. It is a wonderfully crude satire on corporate greed and its relationship to state power.

DigitalDjigit
22-04-2005, 06:55 PM
Wow...Robocop as satire, something I've never thought of. Of course not something you would expect from an eight year-old. Definitely want to rewatch it (and Troopers) now.

michael
23-04-2005, 08:17 AM
Wow...Robocop as satire, something I've never thought of. Of course not something you would expect from an eight year-old. Definitely want to rewatch it (and Troopers) now.
Yeah, although I didn't think about the significance at the time, the bits that are ingrained in my memory from Robocop are the pistake ads that are scattered throughout - "I'll buy that for a dollar!" Well, that and ED-209 malfunctioning and mincing that guy in the board room.

Mind you, neither movie is purely about the satire - I think they had to be primarily sci-fi action films to get them made in Hollywood.

nonseq
23-04-2005, 01:55 PM
Def. check out The Fourth Man, my favourite Verhoeven!

Yesterday I saw Keetje Tippel, Verhoeven's honest take on Amsterdam at the end of he 19th C. Interlocking the personal and the political, this engaging true story of a poor peasant girl trying to survive in the rough city of Amsterdam, is a honest depiction of the class injustice and social turmoil of those times. At times depressing, it often shines with the joie de vivre of Keetje, played by the lovely Monique van de Ven.

Melchior
25-04-2005, 02:04 AM
Man... showgirls was awful. Just terrible. Completely pointless and shit.

Starship Troopers is one of my favourite films however. Fantastic satire while still being a reasonable genre flick. And I've got to admit that I have a large soft spot for average fanasy and sci-fi films.

Michael, I'm amazed that anyone with a modicum of intelligence couldn' see that ST was more of a satire on Heinlein than a homage. I mean, it's not even a very subtle satire, given how over the top it is.

MBM
25-04-2005, 03:02 AM
I mean, it's not even a very subtle satire, given how over the top it is.

I don't think Paul Verhoeven has ever really gone for subtle.

michael
25-04-2005, 03:59 AM
Yeah, it's all really blatant.. heavy-handed even.. but I think the skepticism about the satirical elements was at least partially because of the way the movie was marketed at the time, ie. very much "everything explodes!!" type stuff from the maker of Robocop and Total Recall.

Melchior
25-04-2005, 01:08 PM
Yeah, it's all really blatant.. heavy-handed even.. but I think the skepticism about the satirical elements was at least partially because of the way the movie was marketed at the time, ie. very much "everything explodes!!" type stuff from the maker of Robocop and Total Recall.

People should obviously not get taken in so much by advertising then...