Fondazione Prada is streaming cinema's finest guilty pleasures, from Paul Verhoeven's 'Showgirls' to Billy Wilder's 'Fedora'
When the Paul Verhoeven-directed film Showgirls debuted in 1995, it became one of the biggest box office flops in history, with critics panning its raunchy soft porn scenes. The film didn’t make any profit, earning $37 million at the box office when it cost about $40 million to make. It also earned both Worst Picture and Worst Director at the 1996 Razzies. Fast forward 25 years—the film has a cult following and several critical reevaluations.
Now Show Girls is having another go at the spotlight courtesy of Fondazione Prada, which has partnered with streaming service MUBI to curate a selection of critical failures, box office flops, and films that were simply ahead of their time or misunderstood. Titled Perfect Failures, it’s a great stay-at-home activity to partake in from the comfort of your own living room. According to the release, “This cinematographic journey through the failures and missteps of prominent directors proves that a movie’s original reception is not the final word on its true value. A completely changed cultural context, a wider critical distance between the spectator and the contemporaneous expectations and buzz, as well as new tools of interpretation completely modify the perception of these films, that were once received with confusion, dismissal, or revulsion.”
In addition to Show Girls, Perfect Failures will also showcase A Countess from Hong Kong, Charlie Chaplin’s poorly reviewed last comedy film; Southland Tales, Richard Kelly’s disastrously received 2006 film that debuted at Cannes Film Festival; Chantal Ackerman’s uncharted Un divan à New York (A Couch in New York); and Billy Wilder’s 1978 campy melodrama Fedora. Head to MUBI for a reminder that today’s artistic duds could be tomorrow’s masterworks.