Sorry, but I thoroughly enjoyed Verhoeven's Starship Troopers. I
haven't read the source material so I can't comment on the adaptation,
but who cares? I guess you either love Verhoeven's Ultraviolence or you
Most of the criticism I've heard on the film attacks Verhoeven's variation
on the war propaganda films most of us were forced to watch in required
documentary classes. I found those sequences funny and consistent
with similar media send-up in Verhoeven's previous SciFi pictures. If
Starship Troopers is "shallow" and Verhoeven is "bad," does that mean
Total Recall and Robocop, films with similar themes and violent imagery,
fall into the same categories? Furthermore, does there really need to be
"intellectual justification" to put on screen arguably some of the most
convincing battle sequences ever?
Eric Somer
> From: Christian Doellner <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: STARSHIP TROOPERS and irony
> Date: Thursday, November 13, 1997 8:44 PM
> I  dont think there is any real question of  STARSHIP TROOPER
> being set up an ironic indictment of war and fascism.   Verhoeven's
> sophomoric use of irony is so convoluted and overwhelming
> that once again,  Verhoeven's  lack of subtility and sadistic tendencies
> will  no doubt be applauded as parody, since it boggles the mind
> to think that  Verhoeven could be as bad as his films indicate.
> But bad he is. And cunning.  Verhoeven's choice of  material
>  (50s sci-f, bad-girl melodrama -Showgirls) allows him and
> mush-headed critics the ability to justify his shoddy execution
> as a form of  ironic commentary.  One has to wonder why
> Verhoeven would choice to adapt  a book which he obviously disdains
> ideologically.
> My impression is that  STARSHIP TROOPERS is a FORMAL reaction
> against the plastic-MEATless  S.G.I. film and  Verhoeven's
>  main simple minded thesis is: WARS ARE REALLY BLOODY
> Much has been made of  Verhoeven's  war  experience and his
> exposure to carnage. Thus, he is positioned as an AUTHENTIC
> auteur of gore. None the less, this  should'nt but the sole defining
> aesthetic of a filmmaker,  but in Verhoeven's case it is.
> 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
>  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.
> Christian Doellner  [log in to unmask]
> ------------------------------------------
> ... dirty poets scratching and clawing,
> confused and strong and protective of their
> soft insides.  JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO on X
> -------------------------------------------
> ----
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite