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All About Evil: All About Eve and Showgirls

Sunday, Jun 24, 2018

Paul Verhoeven referred to his 1995 Las Vegas odyssey as “All About Evil,” a nod to Joseph L. Mankewicz’s 1950 melodrama about the rivalry between an aging Broadway star and an adoring, ambitious young fan who inserts herself into the older woman’s life. One film won an Oscar for Best Picture, the other a Razzie for Worst, but they make for a fabulous double bill: twin visions of backstage intrigue filled with diabolically self-interested characters, bitchy putdowns, and a bracing wisdom about the commodification of female identity. Like All About Eve, Showgirls plays out as an acid, cautionary satire of an entertainment industry where celebrity is fleeting and trust is hard to come by, examining a similar story from an inverted angle. Here, the usurping Eve is the heroine in the form of Elizabeth Berkely’s Nomi Malone, while Gina Gershon channels Bette Davis’s imperious diva-isms as the Strip’s reigning version of Margo Channing. The classic and the anti-classic together perfectly. Fasten your seat-belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.—Text written by Adam Nayman, author of It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls (2014, ECW Press), which was recently published in an expanded second edition. Nayman will be signing copies of the book between the two screenings, starting at 5:00 p.m.