Monday, October 29, 2012
Last saturday night, there was a special screening of RoboCop held at the Bio Rex cinema at downtown Helsinki. The screening was of the unrated director's cut and in addition to the privilege of seeing this cinematic masterpiece on the big screen, director Paul Verhoeven himself was at the event to present the film to the audience.
When I first heard about this I almost did a goddamn backflip because this man is a hero of mine. I've always held these directors to the highest respect who not only are able to tell great stories, but also fully understand the techical aspects of good filmmaking by which I mean clever camera blocking, use of music, pacing in editing and so forth. In this toughest league of filmmakers, Verhoeven has always been a master and RoboCop was simply the first film to really demonstrate his genius in the US. All of his Hollywood films that've followed (Showgirls included) have been entertaining to say the least. Even Hollow Man, the film which made Verhoeven reflect his own motifs in American filmmaking and eventually return to Europe, is very entertaining, fluent and especially well made.
Now, granted, Verhoeven wasn't in Finland just to present RoboCop at the annual Night Visions film festival, but to promote his new book Jesus Of Nazareth co-written with Rob Van Scheers (author of Verhoeven's biography). At the screening Verhoeven kindly held two Q&A's, one before the film and one after. At this point I have to say that never in my life have I been more embarrassed to be a part of Finnish film audience because in the middle of the first Q&A some -and please pardon my French here- fucking douchebag interrupted the honored guest by yelling out "start the fucking movie already!". Luckily he was immediately put in his place by the rest of the audience (myself included). Afterwards, once the film had ended and the director was kind enough to continue with a thorough Q&A, he still stuck around happily for autographs and pictures with his fans. Not a selfish bone in the man's body.
The film was of course still an undeniable masterpiece and the evening as a whole one I shall never forget. Mr. Verhoeven, thank you for all your films, I will stay tuned for whatever might be coming next, and also thank you sincerely for the picture. A film buff such as myself really couldn't ask for a more grand experience.
RoboCop at IMDb
Paul Verhoeven at IMDb