Every artist, whether they are a writer, a musician, a painter, or photographer, has influences. Some broadcast their influences more than others. But we all have them, and different influences work upon us to different degrees. As an aspiring author and storyteller, I do not mind telling you that one influence in particular overrides all others where I am concerned. That influence is the work of the Dutch director named Paul Verhoeven. Verhoeven frequently alludes to things in audio commentaries that have to do with his childhood in The Netherlands during the second World War. One thing he mentions at least once is how the Germans would put the corpses of his countrymen on display in public. Both as a method of controlling local resistance, and to signal to the Allies that the Germans could and would kill Dutchmen if they encountered sufficient trouble. So if one wants to search for an influence upon Paul Verhoeven‘s methodology in terms of storytelling and depicting violence, World War II is the first, last, and possibly only place to look.
A common, and sorely mistaken, theme in reviews of Verhoeven‘s films is that he directed it, ergo it will not be subtle. No offense to the reviewers concerned, but fukk you. The difference between Paul Verhoeven and what Hollywood feels to be acceptable is not subtlety, but rather that Paul knows when to be subtle. Continue Reading