Showgirls Lives

In an interview with Margy Rochlin in the N.Y. Times, Elizabeth Berkley — now the host of Bravo’s new competition series Step It Up & Dance (Thursdays at 10 pm) — is again given the old Showgirls grilling. Naturally.
Rochlin notes that Berkley “has watched Showgirls go from a movie synonymous with Hollywood tastelessness to what some — most notably the French New Wave filmmaker Jacques Rivette — argue is a misunderstood art film about surviving in a coarse, venal world. ‘For something that was supposed to die on the video shelf, it certainly has had legs,’ Berkley said.”
Rivette’s Showgirls praise, found in this March ’98 Senses of Cinema interview with Jacques Bonnaud, are as follows:
“I prefer Showgirls (1995), one of the great American films of the last few years. It’s Verhoeven’s best American film and his most personal. In Starship Troopers, he uses various effects to help everything go down smoothly, but he’s totally exposed in Showgirls. It’s the American film that’s closest to his Dutch work. It has great sincerity, and the script is very honest, guileless. It’s so obvious that it was written by Verhoeven himself rather than [Joe] Eszterhas, who is nothing. And that actress is amazing!
“Like every Verhoeven film, it’s very unpleasant: it’s about surviving in a world populated by assholes, and that’s his philosophy. Of all the recent American films that were set in Las Vegas, Showgirls was the only one that was real — take my word for it. I who have never set foot in the place!”

16 thoughts on “Showgirls Lives

  1. Rich S. on said:

    And if Jerry Lewis had played the Kyle MacLachlan role…..

  2. It’s also the most quotable movie ever made.
    I love Showgirls, I find it unbelievably entertaining, and I’ve probably seen it at least 25 times. But my guess is that, in order to really take it seriously, you have to be a non-native English speaker.

  3. If you put on the French audio track, Showgirls is an Oscar worthy foreign film.
    It still lacks the girl-girl action that would have made the film a masterpiece.

  4. Actually, just give Trace Beaulieu and the other folks over at Cinematic Titanic some time…it may yet happen, in a fashion.

  5. Fresh off the wire…2008 Cannes Film Festival Awards
    Robert De Niro had the honors to award the 61st Festival de Cannes to The Class by Laurent Cantet.
    The Grand Prize was awarded by Roman Polanski to director Matteo Garrone for Gomorrah.
    Fatih Akin bestowed the honors for the Best Screenplay Award to Lorna’s Silence by Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne.
    The Best Director Prize was awarded by actress Faye Dunaway to Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Three Monkeys.
    Valerie Lemercier had the honors of handing the award for Best Actor to Benicio Del Toro for his role in Che by Steven Soderbergh.
    Jean Reno had the honors of giving the Best Actress Award to Sandra Corveloni for her role in Linha de passe by Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas.
    The Jury Prize was awarded to Paolo Sorrentino for Il Divo at the hands of Milla Jovovich.
    Awarded by the President of the Cin√É∆í√Ǭ©fondation and Short Film Jury Hou Hsiao Hsien, the Palme d’Or for the Best Short Film went to Megatron by Marian Crisan. Special Mention was given to Jerrycan…
    Director Bruno Dumont, President of the Cam√É∆í√Ǭ©ra d’Or Jury and Dennis Hopper awarded the Cam√É∆í√Ǭ©ra d’Or to Hunger by Steve McQueen (UK) presented in Un Certain Regard. A Special Mention was granted to Everybody Dies But Me by Valeria Ga√É∆í√Ç¬Ø Guermanika (Russia), presented in Critics Week.
    Quick thoughts:
    1) “Che” got a nice award for del Toro (possible Academy nomination run?) but not a great boost for from the jury.
    2) The Dardenne brothers and Nuri Bilge Ceylan keep their streaks alive at Cannes with winning awards when their films are in competition. Ceylan’s two films have gotten Grand Prize, Best Actor, and Director now. The Dardenne films have gotten 2 Palm D’Or, Best Actor, Best Actress, and now Best Screenplay.
    3)Two Italian films winning the Grand Prize and Jury Prize…quite a comeback from recent years. Please someone get US distribution for Gomorrah and IL Divo..
    4) Update: 61st anniversary Cannes Film Festival honor for Catherine Denevue & Clint Eastwood
    5) Sean Penn’s influence: probably best Actor, the 61st anniversary prize for Eastwood, and maybe best Actress
    6) Again, one of the last films to be seen at the festival wins the Palm d’Or … a great acknowledgement for filmmaker Laurent Cantet who made the great TimeOut (2001)…also a film that seem to sum up Sean Penn’s description of his Palm d’Or winning candidate ->not made for the Academy Awards, but relevant for the times we live in
    7) Final thought: very egalitarian award giving ceremony acknowledging many countries this year…no sweep for one particular film

  6. “Battlefield Earth”?
    Misunderstood. Challenging…. and Brilliant!
    Americans are fools for not recognizing its greatness.
    Not since F.W. Murnau….

  7. The original theatrical cut of Battlefield Earth is arguably a classic comedy.
    The DVD cut, sad to say, snips some of Travolta’s over-the-top moments in favor of more dull exposition and more Barry Pepper. But I don’t suppose there’ll ever be sufficient demand for the original version.

  8. “BOLERO…a masterpiece. Bo Derek is the greatest American actress since Barbara Stanwyck!!!!”
    “Pia Zadora transcends cinema in THE LONELY LADY, Peter Sasdy makes Nicholas Ray look like a pussy!”
    Seriously though…I was willing to give SHOWGIRLS the benefit of the doubt (just another piece of shit) until the scene when that black girl is gang raped and staggers out of the room with blood dripping down her legs. Then it became something else…practically a criminal act.
    I remember watching that James Lipton show. John Waters was the guest. During the Q&A, some doughy goateed hipster asked him what movie he liked best TITANIC or SHOWGIRLS. He said SHOWGIRLS. All the asshole losers in the audience guffawed with approval. He interrupted them. “Don’t get me wrong, I liked TITANIC, but SHOWGIRLS doesn’t get it’s own joke.” Something like that. They seemed disappointed. (But John Waters can’t like TITANIC…it isn’t cool!)

  9. Of course, Verhoeven’s mistake was not setting SHOWGIRLS on another planet (And making Berkley have three breasts).

  10. Comedy gold! MGM thinking about remaking RED DAWN!!!
    Dirty Harry breaks out the Astroglide:
    “In my hands it would be set in Manhattan because an island√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s easier for the terrorists to defend and chock-full of appeasers in desperate need of a wake-up call. The scene with a herd of Greenwich Village liberals being shoved into burqas writes itself.”

  11. The original theatrical cut of Battlefield Earth is arguably a classic comedy.

    The DVD cut, sad to say, snips some of Travolta’s over-the-top moments in favor of more dull exposition and more Barry Pepper. But I don’t suppose there’ll ever be sufficient demand for the original version.

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