Marc Vorlander's Showgirls: The Return
is one of the more perplexing projects of recent days, with widespread speculation out there that the whole thing is a hoax. But if it is, Vorlander's certainly not letting on.
Our good friends at German film site Equilibrium
recently had a chat with the man in his native tongue and they have been good enough to offer up an English translation to us here at ScreenAnarchy.Equilibrium (EQ): Please describe how we have to imagine the filmmaker Marc Vorlander.
Marc Vorlander (MV): You don't have to. However, right now I'm sitting in front of my laptop and catch up with what people write on their blogs. I like the numerous speculations about about the girl crawling on the floor ... "is she stunned or is she retarded?" I really like that and if I wasn't the director I would also ask the same questions.In order to get the truth you have to see the movie.
I really liked in particular that some people were talking about a continuity error, because there already is some water on the floor even before the girl crawls on it ... in relation to that I can reveal that in the movie a couple of girls already came out of the tub. So it would've been a continuity error if there wasn't any water on the floor yet.
Every single detail in the movie is intended by the artist, there isn't anything accidental. I am obsessed with that. I don't believe in chance in life. And in film, a controlled world, I don't allow them.EQ: How does a guy from Germany come to write a screenplay and afterwards sell it to Hollywood?
MV: I didn't sell a screenplay, I presented a whole concept. There is no 300 page screenplay some sites wrote about.
I experiment a lot with tracing effects by filming with an open aperture, with flimmering effects, color adjustments, and slow-motion. I will say that no one preceded me in this special kind of way. I came to collect some test footage - and some DPs I knew from Germany really liked it. So I sent the material to Hollywood.
Geoff Schaaf, DP on SEAQUEST DSV, CHARMED, and director of SHELTER ISLAND, took a look at my material and called me ... and in that night a vision turned into a project. It was the first time that Schaaf decided to support someone - after his 30 year old Hollywood career.
From now on things went pretty fast, I got music producers David May, Mow Marchionna, Hassan Anouri, and Richard Moore to join me and the project.The had already worked with Laura Brannigan, Taylor Dayne, Dr. Dre, Sido, and Cassandra Steen. According to my own understanding of the film it is also a dark and erotic pop musical. EQ: How much scope did you have (the film will be in German language) since the project has a budget of apparently $25 million?
MV: We will film it in German and English. I have all the artistic freedom I need. Of course I consult Boa Sten, CEO of Parisiana Entertrainment, my co-producers Tom Rumpf and Ayfer Arslan, as well as with my second unit director Dan Peters from time to time. In the end I show Geoff Schaaf my material ... and until now no one interfered with me. This is almost like a dream for me since my style is a very provocative and unconventional one. We are a bunch of friends and therefore enjoy the whole thing very much.
In 1995 people also asked Paul Verhoeven why he had to use $40 million although he filmed on the streets of Las Vegas, in a strip club, and on a stage. And the whole thing even without any a-listers!? People confronted him with TOTAL RECALL, which had a lesser budget but Schwarzenegger in it.
Budgets are just benchmarks, there isn't someone who shows up with a briefcase full of money distributing it. These are just calculation examples. Soundtrack production, equipment, traveling, locations, salaries, and so on - that all sums up. That has nothing to do with Dagobert Duck, we don't visit the safe after shooting a scene.EQ: Why did you decide for Frankfurt as a place for shooting? Does Frankfurt have any advantages or special characteristics?
MV: Frankfurt has a huge red-light district and a lot of fantastic locations like the Roomers luxury hotel. It was clear from the beginning that we would shoot mainly in Frankfurt. Frankfurt is dark, raw, brutal, and so beautiful at night. In addition, we shot in Ohio and Las Vegas.EQ: The first trailer hit the web last week and led to traffic other young filmmakers can only dream of. What is it that you did correctly?
MV: If I take a look at the numbers I almost get frightened! On February 27th and 28th we almost doubled the daily traffic of avatarmovie.com ... even though our website is only referred to in 23 other sites (AVATAR's is referred to on 4.500 other sites). Currently 1.5 million people visit our website daily, right now we are the world's number one.
We had Europe's largest provider and 1 million other sites crashed. For 24 hours we didn't find anyone who was willing to deal with the traffic. We had to contact the internet guru Tobias Huch in order to get back online.
"WTF!?" or "Oh my god!" are reactions a filmmaker dreams of - only about irrelevant art people don't give a rat's ass. What is really bad disappears into nirvana and won't be clicked a million times.
I think people take a look at my work because they can't understand it. It's some kind of surreal labyrinth. Maybe people find the solution if they see the whole movie. And of course, there are some smoking hot girls which everybody likes to see on screen. That is a lot of fun, even for me.EQ: In an Interview with David Schmader who did the audio commentary on the SHOWGIRLS VIP DVD edition you promised audiences more violence and nudity. What can you offer European audiences which are more used to nudity and violence?
MV: I don't care who is used to what. Heads will blow up, which is not a problem for American audiences. For European audiences it is. In terms of nudity my film will be a shock for American audience, because the final film will contain a lot more nudity than the trailer already had. And that is a problem for some Americans.EQ: It has already been said that your film won't be an official sequel to SHOWGIRLS. What similarities to Verhoeven's cult film will your film have or not have then?
MV: There are a lot of dumb rumours on the net. If "official" means a sequel by MGM ... that will never happen, because they gave away the rights to SHOWGIRLS in 2009. It was my idea to reload SHOWGIRLS... and I created this new hype with an odd Arthouse / Erotic / Gothic / Trash / Musical Crossover and it seems to work very well.EQ: SHOWGIRLS: THE RETURN is said to be released in summer. Will it come to theaters or will it be a DTV release?
MV: It could be released in summer, indeed. However, at the moment we in negotiation with some large distributors about the world wide rights. I don't like the idea of bringing it to theaters, because even SHOWGIRLS proved that the strength is in the home theater market. In the US my film would never be shown uncut and be approved by the MPAA. I don't want my movie to be shown cut on screens. I think that an uncut DVD could be the solution to this problem.
EQ: What would you tell young filmmakers to do?
MV: ... to watch SHOWGIRLS: THE RETURN.