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!”