Few contemporary directors have inspired more debate than Paul Verhoeven, whose smartly entertaining films push the boundaries of sex, violence, and accepted good taste to daringly subversive ends. After a string of groundbreaking works in the Netherlands, Verhoeven eventually found his way to Hollywood, where he lent his complex, morally ambiguous worldview and facility for action spectacle to some of the most fascinating—and often controversial—studio films of the eighties and nineties. An ironist who frequently works in so-called “disreputable” genres—science fiction, erotic thriller, melodrama—he combines a formal mastery with a satirist’s sensibility, delivering visceral thrills alongside provocative critiques of capitalism, militarism, and masculinity. Occasioned by the U.S. release of his acclaimed new film, Elle, the Film Society revisits the work of one of the most fearless directors of our time.
Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan.
Special thanks to EYE Film Institute Netherlands; Sony Pictures Classics; Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The provocatively entertaining films of Paul Verhoeven push the boundaries of sex, violence, and accepted good taste to daringly subversive ends. Occasioned by his acclaimed new film, Elle, the Film Society revisits the work of one of the most fearless directors of our time.
Free screening! · Pre-Screening ReceptionPaul Verhoeven’s first film in French ranks among his most incendiary, improbable concoctions: a wry, almost-screwball comedy of manners about a woman (a brilliant Isabelle Huppert) who responds to rape by refusing the mantle of victimhood.
Extended introduction by Paul Verhoeven and Casper Van Dien on November 15Part comic book-style action adventure, part scathing satire of the military-industrial complex, Starship Troopers is one of the most subversive artistic acts ever perpetrated with a $100 million budget.
Q&A with Paul Verhoeven on November 16Named the Best Dutch Film of the Century by the Netherlands Film Festival, Verhoeven’s hugely successful sophomore film is an alternately sweet and steamy romance filled with his typically perverse touches.
The last film Verhoeven directed in Holland before decamping for Hollywood is one of his most outlandish and inspired: an alternately funny and freaky hothouse blend of oneiric symbolism, homoeroticism, religious iconography, and witchcraft.
Verhoeven’s sleek, sexually daring thriller is Vertigo for the 1990s, with Michael Douglas as the troubled police detective seduced into a series of cat-and-mouse mind games by Sharon Stone’s Hitchcock-blonde crime novelist.
Shifting loyalties, double crosses, and Mata Hari-esque sexual intrigue abound in Verhoeven’s morally complex World War II thriller.
Verhoeven’s first feature—about two enterprising prostitutes looking for love in swinging ‘70s Amsterdam—is unmistakably his: outrageous, satiric, erotic, and gleefully unrespectable.
Verhoeven’s first English-language film is a muddy, bloody, brutal vision of the Middle Ages.
Verhoeven’s last Hollywood film to date is this underrated, twisted take on The Invisible Man, with Kevin Bacon as an egomaniac scientist whose experiments with invisibility unleash his inner homicidal maniac.
One of Verhoeven’s most visually beautiful films depicts both the squalor and opulence of 19th-century Europe, as the eponymous heroine goes from prostitute to artist’s model to fine lady in turn-of-the-century Amsterdam.
Each made by Verhoeven before his first feature, these five short films center around youth and school life, and provide a glimpse into the director’s early fascinations with female dominance, technology, and war.
This satiric, sexually frank psychodrama charts the coming-of-age of three motocross-obsessed young men and plays like a male-driven precursor to Showgirls.
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Verhoeven’s head-tripping adaptation of Philip K. Dick is like RoboCop played at hyper-speed, with its themes of corporate control, memory, and identity delivered in an even faster, funnier, and gorier package.
In a daring online experiment, over 400 people contributed to the crowd-sourced script that resulted in this darkly comic family farce.
Special Event Pricing: Elle Sneak Preview
$13 – Member, Student & Senior
$18 – General Public
See more and save with our discount packages! Note: Elle Sneak Preview is excluded from the 3+ Film Package but included in the All Access Pass.
3+ Film Package – Minimum of 3 films required. Tickets just $8 Members / $9 Students & Seniors / $11 General Public.
All Access Pass – See everything in the series for just $125!
Note: Member complimentary tickets can be used for this series.
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