***** Review of “Showgirls” (1995)

 “Showgirls” is an epic masterpiece of epical, masterpiecical proportions. It’s two hours and eleven minutes of silver screen lightening captured in our jars.

Berkley licks at our hearts.

Elizabeth Berkley, from the landmark teen drama “Saved by the Bell”, made her mark in cinematic history as Nomi, the tragic, spinning nubile young dancer fighting hopelessly for respect in a Nietzschean universe. She dances, she flashes, she’s a flashdancer. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas deeply explores his trademark themes of dance and flash and the wages of sin. Berkley is figuratively (and for you perverts out there with no eye for metaphor, literally) naked here, a pawn in the capitalist system, manipulated by the corrupt industrial complex she is wretchedly unable to escape. She desperately slithers and spins crazily around poles, tongue akimbo, her circular fate laid bare, grinding and grinding, unable to cry out to the stern, hard male power structure (Kyle MacLachlan). Grinding, she grinds blindly. Finally, blind grinding up, then down, then down and up, then up and down, her frenzied body convulses, bosoms heave northward, head thrashes, her tumescent nipples betraying her deep existential exhaustion; surely the most heartbreaking scene in cinematic history. A single tear. When she finally goes limp, she goes limp for us all.

Such flaccid folly flaunts across the stage, signifying nothing. Out, out, brief candle in the wind, goodbye yellow brick road, adieu tiny dancer. Another tear falls, weeping. We taste its salty sweetness, sobbing, softly setting it in our jars. Thank you Miss Elizabeth Berkley, Tausend Dank Herr Eszterhas. THANK YOU! BRAVA! A true feminist manifesto. Show girls, indeed. Show us all.  5 stars

(This movie is currently an Instant Watch on Netflix.)

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