Showgirls: It Doesn’t Suck
Screening introduced by Adam Nayman
Preceded by a book signing in the Moving Image Store at 6:00 p.m.
Dir. Paul Verhoeven. 1995, 128 mins. 35mm. With Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Gina Gershon. Nomi at MOMI! “Leave your inhibitions at the door” panted the ads for Verhoeven’s NC-17 rated cause célèbre. Primed to pan pretty much anything the director did in the wake of Basic Instinct, most critics opted to leave their senses of humor behind. A deluxe nudity-filled update of the classic Hollywood musical, Showgirls features a sturdy veteran-versus-ingenue plotline (Verhoeven dubbed it “All About Evil”). Showgirls is not only better than its reputation (but then it would have to be) and more durable than its critics (some of whom have recanted): it stands, nearly 20 years on, as the last (dirty) word in the cinema du sleaze. Film critic Adam Nayman (Reverse Shot, CinemaScope), author of the new Pop Classics monograph It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls (2014, ECW Press) will introduce the screening. “His book definitely demonstrates that Showgirls is a coherent statement, and that its excess, its ridiculousness, and its tastelessness aren’t arbitrary, but thematic.” (The Atlantic). There will be a book signing in the Moving Image Store prior to the screening.
Free with Museum admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Museum members may reserve tickets in advance by calling 718 777 6800. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.