paul verhoeven 88.
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His film credits include 'Robocop' and 'Total Recall', and Sharon Stone insists it was his idea that she take off her panties for the leg-crossing scene in 'Basic Instinct'. Now he's shooting a Holocaust-related movie in Israel.
Paul Verhoeven, the Dutch director with a gift for action and sex scenes, landed in Tel Aviv last week to complete filming on his latest project, a war film billed by its production company as "the biggest and most expensive Dutch film ever."
Scenes have been shot so far at the Dead Sea and a kibbutz in the Galilee, with the final product - a drama called Blackbook - slated for release in Holland on September 14.
Film distributors in 20 countries have already bought the rights to Verhoeven's latest production, which was shot mostly in Holland and focuses on the wartime struggles of Rachel Steinn, a Jewish "former revue star" who joins the Dutch resistance after narrowly avoiding death in a Nazi massacre. As the war reaches its end, Steinn's group is betrayed and the young Jewish woman herself accused of being the informant.
Following Holland's liberation, the fictional protagonist tracks down the true traitor and prepares vengeance. "But," the production company's synopsis wonders, "will revenge be sweet?"
Researched and written over a 20-year period by Verhoeven and the script's co-author, the movie is performed primarily in Dutch and features a German and Dutch cast that will be unfamiliar to most English-speaking audiences.
Budgeted at 16 million Euros (NIS 91.54 million), the film is described by its producers as a "thriller full of action, inspired by true stories."
Born in Amsterdam in 1938, Verhoeven previously dealt with Holland's World War II history in Soldaat van Oranje (Soldier of Orange), a 1977 film about resistance fighters and collaborators under Nazi occupation. He is slated to shoot another World War II film - this one about an accused Japanese war criminal - starting this winter.
However Verhoeven's forthcoming movies are greeted by critics, movie audiences are unlikely to forget the Hollywood films that made him famous outside his homeland.
In addition to films with Sharon Stone and Arnold Schwarzenneger, Verhoeven also helmed the infamous 1995 flop 'Showgirls', a sex- and nudity-filled extravaganza that achieved a cinematic afterlife at special screenings celebrating its unintentionally campy script and acting. But while he's best known for explosions and bedroom scenes, Verhoeven is not without a sense of humor: when the film swept the 1996 'Razzies' - the pre-Oscar "awards" for the year's worst movies - Verhoeven made Hollywood history by being the first filmmaker to show up and collect his prize in person.