By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Paul Verhoeven

“What comes out of making a movie can have more depth in retrospect than you really thought while you were doing it. There are, of course, elements in your brain that do these things while you’re not aware of it. You can read all these things into it afterwards, but it’s good that you’re not thinking about them while you’re doing it, otherwise you’re going to preach. Intrinsically it’s a commentary on American society, where everyone has a gun, but while we were making it, we weren’t thinking of it as a critical study of the United States, we were just laughing at our ideas. We don’t know if it’s Trump’s America. We hope it’s not. You couldn’t get a green-light on that movie today, certainly the way we made it. If you took all that stuff out, like they did with the remakes of RoboCop and Total Recall, you’d be taking out all the ambiguity, satire and irony. Straight, that’s what they want now. They think audiences are so stupid that they can’t handle another layer.”
~ Paul Verhoeven

 

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“The purpose of film isn’t to present the kindness of the world.”
~ Isabelle Huppert

The Promised Land steers into the fact that the United States can mean whatever people want it to mean. You may not be able to be Elvis, but you can sure as shit impersonate him for a living. America, like its current President (at least as of this article’s publication), is so dangerous precisely because it’s a blank canvas on which anyone can project their dreams. Whatever it is that you see for yourself, there’s someone you can pay for the pleasure of believing that it’s possible. In his view, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate con, a delusion that prevents us from seeing our circumstances for what they are.

“Forget the Matrix, it’s the invention of happiness that blinded us to the truth. The rich got richer and the poor help them do it. Jarecki doesn’t argue that the American Dream is dead; he argues that it was never alive in the first place — that we were all lobsters in a pot full of water that was boiling too slowly for any of us to notice. And now it’s time for dinner. Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States. Elvis has left the building.”
~ David Ehrlich