This week sees the release of Elle, the latest film from acclaimed director Paul Verhoeven, so what better time to look back at his career and test your knowledge? You may love his films, but how well do you really know them?
Elle stars Isabelle Huppert in an Oscar-nominated performance, which we reviewed last year at the Cannes Film Festival.
We also wrote about violent satire in his films, from Starship Troopers to RoboCop and Total Recall.
Delving back into the vault, we wrote about his ambitious and unrealised project for Crusade, a medieval epic that would have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, as one of our Best Films Never Made.
Why not take a look after you’ve pitted your wits against the ORWAV Quizmaster?
Verhoeven has been nominated twice for the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or. Which films earned him those nominations?
Verhoeven was nominated for Basic Instinct in 1992 and Elle in 2016. He didn't win either time.
Verhoeven was the first person to show up at the Razzie awards in person to collect his 'prize', but which of his films was responsible?
He was nominated and won for Worst Director and Worst Picture for Showgirls in 1996. The film won 5 other Razzies for Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Screenplay, Worst New Star and Worst Original Song. Verhoeven must have been so proud.
Which of these critically acclaimed movies was Verhoeven offered the chance to direct?
Verhoeven was offered the chance to direct The Silence of the Lambs, a gig which eventually went to Jonathan Demme. He passed because he doubted there would be an audience for a film with such a dark tone.
To which of Verhoeven's films are these the opening lines? "This is Media Break. You give us 3 minutes, and we'll give you the world."
These are the opening lines of Robocop. The next lines are: Casey Wong: Good morning. I'm Casey Wong, with Jess Perkins. Top story: Pretoria. The threat of nuclear confrontation in South Africa escalated today when the ruling white military government of that besieged city-state unveiled a French-made neutron bomb and affirmed its willingness to use the 3 megaton device as the city's last line of defense.
What book was Verhoeven's film Total Recall based on, and who wrote it?
Total Recall is actually an adaptation of We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by sci-fi maestro Philip K. Dick. Fun fact: the K stands for Kindred. No wonder he initialised it. P.S. We know, we know, Total Recall is set on Mars. Did any of you trip up and go for Bradbury?
Verhoeven has only ever appeared briefly (and by accident) in one of his own films. He is seen in a club scene dancing along with the extras to motivate them. Which film is it?
Verhoeven has a brief cameo in Robocop, which he never intended to appear in the final film. He was wildly dancing in the nightclub scene to direct the extras how to do it, and his editor Frank J. Urioste slipped the footage into the film.
There is endless debate around Basic Instinct's infamous leg-crossing shot, and according to LoveFilm it's the most paused moment in film. There are even arguments around what exactly you can see when Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs, but according to Verhoeven, for how many frames is that highly disputed space, the cinematic equivalent of the Gaza strip, actually visible?
It's 4 frames. We're just going to give you Verhoeven's full statement on the matter from 2015: "I remember a female assistant editor then began watching the scene on loop, basically looking at the shot under a microscope convinced she could see Sharon's vagina. I told her, 'No, you just see the inside of her thighs' and so we began discussing what we could see because, if you look at the scene it is only four frames, so it is very difficult to know exactly what you see because it is only meant to be a suggestion. So we began looking and looking at the celluloid of the film with a magnifying glass and that's when we realized that yes, we could see her vagina. But because the speed at which we shot it, we decided to leave it in, but we never expected it to be so sensational - and yes, it is Sharon Stone's real vagina. "
Which of Verhoeven's films has the highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes?
Elle just about takes it, with 89%! Robocop has 88%, Total Recall has 82% and Basic Instinct only 53%.
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