The acclaimed, provocative, and hilarious podcast Chapo Trap House (authors of the New York Times best-selling The Chapo Guide to Revolution) joined the Film Society of Lincoln Center for a special presentation of a film they have selected: Paul Verhoeven’s thrilling and subversive sci-fi spectacle Starship Troopers. After the screening, Chapo’s hosts participated in an extended onstage discussion.
Chapo Trap House on Starship Troopers:
"The Hollywood films of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven have been foundational to the comedic and political sensibilities of our podcast. From the gore drenched sci-fi satire of Robocop and Total Recall to the trashy sex satire of Basic Instinct and Showgirls, Verhoeven’s self-consciously obscene and absurd visions of American culture have been consistently ahead of their time by about twenty to thirty years. What happens, though, when the reality we’re currently living in has finally caught up to the grotesque visions of Verhoeven’s films?
Perhaps nowhere does this uncannily prophetic phenomenon find a more pure or hilarious expression than in his adaption of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. By presenting an essentially fascist narrative of humanity’s war on a race of giant bugs as straight-up and true to Heinlein’s material as possible, Verhoeven creates a dual context in which the heroes of his film all believe in its insane militaristic politics but the movie itself deftly underscores the suicidal death drive and cheapness of human life endemic to the fascist state. Verhoeven, who himself grew up under the Nazi occupation of Holland, creates something like “Triumph of the Will meets Saved by the Bell” and demonstrates the heights of what irony can achieve in cinema. Starship Troopers is a satirical masterpiece that we should all return to again as our own deeply moribund democracy slouches towards an uncertain future."
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.
More info: filmlinc.org