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The movie opened with an NC-17 rating, but Verhoeven himself edited an R-rated version. This cut is known as Director's R-Rated Version. As far as anybody knows, the US DVD release only contains the uncut version. It features more sexual material than the R-rated version. Edit (Coming Soon)
Given the technical specifications for the camera and the format of film stock negative used, a small portion of the image's top and a much larger portion of the image's bottom is to be missing from the 2.35:1 presentation (cinematic), whereas an equal portions of the image's left and right are to be missing from the 4:3 presentation (television); unless, contrary to spec, the whole of the frame of the film stock negative (to the extent of the film gate of the camera used) is transferred, or, just as contrary to spec, the cinematic presentation is simply zoomed-in to where image fills the screen..
On top of that, the spec doesn't cover presentation in other aspect ratios, so various wide-screen transfers will appear "matted" at the top and bottom, but that is merely the consequence of the cinematic presentation (and thereby intended presentation) being ported to another medium.
For most films, what imagery along the horizontal edges be gained or lost isn't significant, but for this film, it means the difference between a topless woman's breasts being visible below her face or not, and the difference between a naked individual's legs being visible below his/her torso or not. Edit (Coming Soon)
Between 2011 and 2014, director Paul Verhoeven and his biographer Rob van Scheers did a series of Dutch essays on well-known and lesser known movie classics, that were published in a Dutch newspaper. Van Scheers insisted that Verhoeven also include one of his own movies in the analysis, which became Showgirls (1995). The following is a summary of his essay.
Verhoeven has not expressed regret in making the movie per se, although he had some criticisms. He rarely re-watches his own movies, but reportedly enjoyed re-watching Showgirls best of all, stating that he may be the only one who really likes it. He also acknowledged that the film damaged the careers of all involved, and orchestrated his own "downfall into Hollywood jail". He remained a defender of the film's theme, but did concede that it had deserved a better script.
Verhoeven stated that he initially did the film as a favor towards frequent collaborator Mario Kassar, who had already invested 10 million dollar in the movie 'Crusade' (which was never made) and 4 million dollar into Showgirls' screenplay. He hated the first draft (which he likened to a sequel to Joe Eszterhas's Flashdance (1983)), so the script was extensively re-written to its current form. Verhoeven meant to make the characters, the story, the colors and the dialogue all larger than life, like a blown-up version of Las Vegas itself, and make it visually dazzling, his most "Fellinie-esque movie".
Although he admitted that he was satisfied too quickly with the final draft, he was still of the opinion that the movie was quite elegantly filmed despite all the nudity, praising the cinematography by Jost Vacano. If he could redo Showgirls, he would have added a crime element, such as a murder mystery, enabling him to tell the same story of opportunism, jealousy and sexual exploitation, but with a more tension-driven plot.
Looking back, Verhoeven didn't think the movie was worth all the hardships he and main star Elizabeth Berkley endured afterwards. Berkley was hit hardest, and her career never really recovered, but he had noted in an earlier essay that women who play sexually explicit characters in movies often meet that fate, in contrast to men.
It did not escape Verhoeven's notice that the film has become profitable over the years, and that it garnered its share of admiration and cult following in the time since its release. He valued the appreciation that filmmakers such as Jim Jarmusch, Jacques Rivette and Quentin Tarantino have given to the film, but also felt that no one needs to come to his defense. In conclusion, he admitted that making such a unique, absurd 40-million dollar movie was suicidal, but he is still happy to have made it.
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