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Christian Doellner writes:
 
<snip>
 
> Verhoeven's cynicism as a filmmaker is unrivaled even by the
> standards of Kubrick and the Cohen brothers.  With the later,
> one feels at least, as if their vision/misanthropist impulse
> is informed by a keen intelligence/wit that appreciates
> subtlety and restraint.
>
> What I find most distressing is that  worthwhile films like
> BLUE VELVET and HENRY PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL killer are
>  vilified, while STARSHIP TROOPER will more than
> likely fly under the seriouse discourse  radar. And if nothing
> else be applauded as satire,or even worse be  rewarded with
>  bonzo box-office returns.
>
> It's time that critics and scholars alike realize that the shoddy use
> of established paradigms --be it the dime-store Freudianism that
> informs most noir or the over-blown, ironic posturing of Veerhoven's
> work -- should'nt be used  as a intellectual justification for shallow
> film-making.
 
I'll agree about Verhoeven.  The first ROBOCOP showed some real humor
and some glimmers of interest in the humanity under the metal, but his
work since then has been more interested in shock effects.  I saw TOTAL
RECALL around the same time as THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER
LOVER and, when people asked how I could ever endorse the latter, cited
the former as a point of contrast.  Greenaway, perhaps the most
passionately despairing filmmaker around now, stands as a model of
moral rectitude in comparison to Verhoeven.
 
Don Larsson
 
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Donald Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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