As promised, a reminder. Tonight’s the night, folks, that Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato present the film that most influenced their oeuvre, Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers, at Skirball Cultural Center. 7:30PM. It’s part of Skirball’s Cinema’s Legacy series. For more on this topic (why they’re presenting this particular movie, etc), click here to see last week’s posting. The film stars Casper van Dien, whose reality show, I Married a Princess, begins this month on Lifetime.
Meanwhile, graphic artist Rodney Ascher, who makes awesome animated opening sequences for many of WOW’s productions, has this to say about the Troopers:
Starship Troopers is one of my all-time favorite movies in the whole world. I agree with your take on it. Its further merits include:
• being a preemptive satire on both Saving Private Ryan, with its handheld footage of CGI-enhanced war carnage AND the invasion of Iraq. The WWII parallel with Churchill is pretty fascinating, but what other explanation besides pre-cognition explains the Brain Bug’s being yanked from a hole’s similarity to wily old Saddam being dragged out of his?
• its coed shower scene, which is simultaneously funny, sexy, and a plausible piece of social futurism and the evolution of the military.
• the penultimate sequence of Johnny Rico initiating reinforcements who like they’re still pre-teens – another image straight out of the last days of the Third Reich.
• being (and this may sound a little canned because I’ve massaged the phrase in a handful of impassioned conversations about the movie) “an indictment of the action movie genre as an implicit endorsement of fascism.” Which is pretty fascinating because the book was a bizarre rambling pro-fascist political tract loosely disguised as a sci-fi thriller. I don’t know if there’s another movie that so completely subverts the ideas of its source material.
• being a movie directed and written so deeply “in character” that most people in the audience didn’t even realize what was going on.
All of which would be irrelelavant if it wasn’t so funny, twisted, and all around kickass.
– Rodney Ascher
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