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When it comes to cinematic depictions of sex, especially in the United States, censorship groups are very strict and side on giving those kinds of films quite strong ratings.
One film that seemed to fare well despite its lengthy and steamy sex scenes came over twenty years ago, back in 1992, with Paul Verhoeven's cinema sensation "Basic Instinct". That film opened with an 'R', not the stricter 'Nc-17' rating.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone (via Cinema Blend), Verhoeven reveals that the film's dramatic elements - especially the fact that the film always suggests that Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell is a potential killer throughout - not only spared it the harsher rating but allowed him to extend the sex scenes within:
"Because it was a thriller, the idea that Sharon Stone could kill him during sex was always an element of protection. So we could show sex »
- Garth Franklin
Sex sells . that much we know. The 1992 murder mystery Basic Instinct . starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone . most certainly understood just how to sell its sexual content to audiences. Everyone who has heard of Paul Verhoeven.s Basic Instinct will instantly recall the iconic scene of Sharon Stone slowly opening and closing her legs in a police interrogation. The film.s content could most certainly be described steamy, but it required the inclusion of more dramatic elements to keep an R-rating. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Verehoeven opened up about how he got away with showing such raunchy sex scenes in Basic Instinct: Because it was a thriller, the idea that Sharon Stone could kill him during sex was always an element of protection. So we could show sex and nudity much longer than normal, because there was another element there . the element of threat. By contrast, »
It’s no great stretch to call Showgirls a notorious film. Paul Verhoeven’s 1995 stripper fiasco is almost equally reviled as a terrible piece of crap and celebrated as a legitimate masterpiece of over-the-top camp trash. One element that received much bile upon release, and that has gained a cult following in the interim, is the performance of lead Elizabeth Berkley. As it turns out, that wasn’t entirely the actress’ choice as much as it was Verhoeven’s. Showgirls turns 20 this years (that fact seriously blows my mind), and to celebrate this milestone, Rolling Stone sat down with the provocative director of movies like RoboCop, Basic Instinct, and Starship Troopers to discuss his most notorious film, which is saying something looking at his resume. Discussing Berkley’s performance, Verhoeven said: People have, of course, criticized her for being over-the-top in her performance. Most »
About five years ago I made my way over to Montana Street in Santa Monica to attend a screening of the magnificently loopy adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, directed by Paul Verhoeven, which was showing at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. The screening was a star-studded affair, featuring Verhoeven in an on-stage interview with Ed Neumeier, the film’s screenwriter, and a couple of the other artists and craftsmen who were involved in the making of the film. (They were stars to the packed house anyway, even though I can’t for the life of me remember who else comprised the panel.) Before the screening, Verhoeven set up shop to sign copies of his recently published book, the somewhat controversial Jesus of Nazareth, a historical account of Jesus’ life written with matter-of-fact detail and iconoclasm from Verhoeven’s singular perspective as a member of the group of »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Yet a swimming pool splash-about with Kyle MacLachlan in Robocop director Paul Verhoeven's 1995 skin flick Showgirls - the Us's first and only big-budget Nc-17 - unfortunately torpedoed her career before it began.
But as Showgirls celebrates its 20th anniversary this week, having been reappraised and reborn as a midnight movie regular, a musical masterpiece (tagline: "Singing. Dancing. Tits") and a classic exploitation film of our time (not our words, but Jim Jarmusch's), we look at what happened to the actress best known as Nomi Malone.
1. She won two Razzies
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
A 20th anniversary screening of Edgar Wright’s little-seen debut A Fistful of Fingers will take place in London in November.
Watch Martin Scorsese discuss his five biggest influences:
Now available on Criterion, Geoffrey O’Brien analyzes Moonrise Kingdom:
The phrase “adventure movie” was food, in childhood, for the most pleasurable kind of anticipation. The excitement wasn’t ever about the particular exploits that were ostensibly to be celebrated. The promise was of dreamlike freedom of movement through a world at once concrete and mysterious, and shaped for unsupervised play. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) is an adventure movie in the true sense. It breathes an air of freedom and »
- TFS Staff
Paul Verhoeven looks back on Showgirls, twenty years on. Also in today's roundup: Alex Ross Perry on Eli Roth's The Green Inferno, plus essays on Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, Abel Ferrara’s King of New York, Frank Borzage's History is Made at Night, James Dean, nitrate (and the past and future of cinema) and Ti West; interviews with Bruce Beresford, Christine Vachon and Ramin Bahrani; video of Woody Allen on Goodfellas and Martin Scorsese on five films that have influenced him over the years. And more. » - David Hudson »
There are some big movies celebrating anniversaries this year — "Goodfellas" turns 25, and "Se7en" blows out 20 candles — but another, slightly more infamous movie is ringing in two decades: Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls." The years haven't changed the tide of overall opinion of the stripper flick. It's still regarded as a major misfire, but some are now able to view the picture as a camp curiosity (frankly, I don't even find it enjoyable enough on that level to be able to get through the movie more than a few minutes at a time). Still, "Showgirls" has remained on the pop culture radar for a couple of decades and Rolling Stone has used the occasion of the film's birthday to enlist Verhoeven to share his reflections on the movie. The entire thing is a must read, as it provides a pretty fascinating and honest account of the director's work on the movie from the man himself. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Above: Xiao Kang, a new short film by Tsai Ming-liang starring Lee Kang-shen, made as a trailer for the 2015 Viennale.Fall festival season is about to begin, and our local favorite Mill Valley Film Festival (October 8 - 18) has revealed its lineup, which includes such Notebook favorites as 45 Years, The Assassin, and Taxi.Speaking of festivals, the New York Film Festival is set to begin this weekend, and Notebook contributor Ricky D'Ambrose is premiering a new short there.Above: terrific fan posters for films by Hong Sang-soo made by Choi jee-woong. (Coincidentally, in the Us we're currently showing Hong's In Another Country and The Day He Arrives.)We love it when A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis dig into the contemporary movie climate at the New York Times. And we love even »
Today is the 20th anniversary of the release of Showgirls, and to mark the the occasion, we have another tribute video for you to check out. The Paul Verhoeven-directed Nc-17 erotic drama opened to extremely negative reviews in 1995, and was a box office bomb, grossing a little over $20 million at North American theaters against a budget of $45 million. But the film went on to earn over $100 million in... Read More »
- Jesse Giroux
After getting his start in his native Holland with wild, sexually explicit dramas like Spetters and Turkish Delight (a 1974 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign-Language Film), director Paul Verhoeven came to Hollywood in the Eighties and rebranded himself as a can-do-anything sci-fi filmmaker with a slightly satircal bent. If you needed to make a film about a cyborg cop (Robocop) or send Arnold Schwarzenegger to Mars (Total Recall), he was your man. But after tooling around postapocalytic Detroit and outer space, Verhoeven took a step back to his eroticsploitation, semi-perverse roots to make 1992's Basic Instinct. »
Put the Final Draft down and back away. You're coming with me, creep. There's some noise being made today about whether or not Sony wants a sequel to "Robocop," the remake of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic, and I am getting hammered with e-mails and direct messages from people wanting to know how they can get in touch with Sony about what they want to do with the series. After all, The Playlist ran the story under the headline "Sony Will Reportedly Hear Your Idea For A 'Robocop' Sequel," despite no one having reported any such thing. If you follow their link back to the original story on Den Of Geek, what they're describing is basically a non-story. All they're saying is that the studio is not working on a sequel in any way right now, and they don't have any plans to start developing a sequel, either. If »
- Drew McWeeny
Las Vegas has always been an interesting place to set a movie. glamorous casinos, fabulous weather, and that chance to win a fortune. Many movies have been set in Vegas over the years, so we thought we’d take a look at five of the best.
Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn starred in Doug Liman’s 1996 movie Swingers, and both were catapulted to super-stardom as a result. The film revolves around Jon Favreau’s Mike, who, following a split with his girlfriend, is taken to Las Vegas by his friend Trent (Vaughn). Things are looking up, but then Mike crashes and burns at the casino. Down on their luck financially, the two go on to meet a couple of ladies, but soon enough, their luck runs out with them too. The rest of the film relocates to Los Angeles, but Swingers remains one of the best movies to featuring Vegas of the nineties. »
- The Hollywood News
Thirty years ago, Marty McFly was riding high with the smash hit Back To The Future, while Sylvester Stallone enjoyed his most successful year yet with the one-two punch of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV. It was an era of family sci-fi and teen comedies and bullet-spraying action, where The Breakfast Club and Teen Wolf rubbed shoulders with Death Wish 3 and Commando. Then there were low-key dramas like Out Of Africa and The Color Purple, which were both awards magnets at the Oscars.
Away from all those big hits, 1985 saw the release of a wealth of less successful movies, some of which found a second life on the then-huge home video circuit. Here's our pick of 20 underappreciated films from the year of Rambo, »
Kid Dangerous: Trio of Directors Craft Endearing 80’s Retro Flick
Operating comfortably within the lines of the well-tread grooves of genre paths explored before than it does reinvent the parameters of its retro engaged flavoring, the surprisingly endearing Turbo Kid manages to engage as heartfelt pastiche. Co-directed by Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell (who also star as the father and mother of the main character) and Yoann-Karl Whissell, the gonzo mash-up of exaggerated, bloody violence with the charming earnestness of its protagonists plays surprisingly well even if its narrative trajectory lacks enough remarkable characteristics to differentiate itself from certain films it pays homage to. At times enchanting, particularly with a handful of colorfully detailed character developments, it’s a romantically inclined love letter to a more inventive and playful era of filmmaking sorely missed.
In the post-apocalyptic world of 1997 Quebec, a loner known as The Kid (Munro Chambers) lives alone in »
- Nicholas Bell
A while back, when we released the 400th episode of the Sound On Sight podcast, a few close friends and longtime listeners requested we compile a list of our favorite shows we recorded over the years. Now that the podcast has officially come to an end, I decided to finally set aside some time in my schedule and give them what they want. Initially, I set out to pick ten, but after 500 recordings and 8 long years, it was simply too hard to choose so few, so I opted for 20 instead. In selecting these episodes, I tried to show the wide range of genres we covered over the years, including Spaghetti Westerns, Italian Horror, Southern Gothic, underground cult, family friendly, foreign language and even Hollywood classics. We’ve been blessed with several guest hosts and interviews with many filmmakers including genre legends George A. Romero and John Landis, to name a few. »
Imagine you’re Detroit cop Alex Murphy. You’re an ordinary man in every respect: a loving husband and father with a home and a mortgage. But then you wake up one day and you aren’t Alex Murphy anymore. The hands you look down on are no longer your hands. Your memories have been replaced by directives.
The cinemagoers who made Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop a hit in 1987 probably weren’t expecting a film about the nature of human existence, and some may not have consciously noted its philosophical undercurrent at all. But it’s this existentialist edge that, when coupled with its searing violence and black humour, makes for such an irresistible sci-fi movie. »
With the exception of Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation and Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, the nineteen other films in Venice Film Festival’s contention for the Golden Lion won’t be mentioned during awards season, but who cares when you have the likes of Aleksander Sokurov, Luca Guadagnino and Marco Bellocchio in the line-up. Not unlike previous years, the 2015 edition has a good numbers of films from Italy and the U.S., with several France co-productions littered throughout and the addition of fresh faces with first time works from composer Piero Messina and artist/musician Laurie Anderson.
While non comp offerings in the shape of Scott Cooper’s Black Mass and Thomas McCarthy’s Spotlight are sure to receive a fair amount of trade news attention it’s the docus that are especially rich this year: Frederick Wiseman is joined by Sergei Loznitsa makes back to »
- Eric Lavallee
"Total Recall" is one of those movies that is beloved by a pretty wide swath of fandom, but it's never been a favorite of mine. Part of the problem is that while I love "Robocop," I don't think every single piece of material works with that tone. Paul Verhoeven loves to subvert the material he works with, and while "Robocop" was clearly written with tongue in cheek, the early drafts of "Recall" were all played pretty straight. There was a scene in one of those drafts that I loved dearly, right as Quaid is forced to confront an alley full of men. He's got no idea what to do, and then his body snaps in and he kills everyone, bare-handed, only to end up shaken and freaked out by what he just did. I loved the idea of Richard Dreyfuss playing that scene because we'd be just as surprised by »
- Drew McWeeny
The 90s saw Joe Eszterhas become the world's most famous screenwriter, selling scripts for up to $4m apiece. But what became of the films?
By the end of the 1990s, the screenwriting career of Joe Eszterhas was in sharp decline. His hyped Hollywood satire, Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film had come, bombed and swept the Golden Raspberry Awards. Furthermore, projects that were previously live and kicking were being swept under the carpet.
But for a long while, Joe Eszterhas was that rarest of things: a genuine Hollywood writing superstar. And in a movie era where the writer seems to have, for the most part, fallen down the pecking order again, I thought it was worth digging through the many big money scripts that Joe Eszterhas sold in and around the 1990s, to see just what ultimately became of them. Some you'll have heard of, but I'd wager »
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