Friday, January 14, 2005

Best. Movie. Ever.

The proprietor of A Small Victory is asking for back-up on her opinion that Starship Troopers was a Fine Film.

Piece o' cake. Starship Troopers ruled.

In the comments, ejh writes: "You're not alone. It's a good movie as long as you don't try to take it seriously."

Which may be true, but it's an even better movie when you take it way too seriously. Verhoeven uses what appears on the surface to be a mindless action movie to unearth the fascism at the heart of democracy (or nationalism...or something). That's most clearly evidenced by his use of fascist iconography and propagandizing (he famously quotes Triumph of the Will, for example).

My pet theory about the film is that it's a cinematic rendering of Hanna Arendt's thought on fascism. One of Arendt's most intriguing ideas is that fascism is somehow necessarily bound up with racism and misogyny. The film correlates the former with speciesism [ed: and I had hoped that I'd have died without uttering that word...] and directly refers to the latter in one of the most outrageous sequences I've ever seen. The scene in question is at the end, when the "brain bug" is in the lab; the strange thing is that its mouth really, really looks like a giant vagina. As if someone would miss the point, when the scientist "penetrates" the mouth/vagina with some spiky probe instrument, a "CENSORED" strip covers the action.

All the while, an authoritative male voice is triumphantly detailing the progress humans have been having against the killer vaginas from outer space.