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Lotti Pharriss Knowles is an unabashed, non-ironic fan of SHOWGIRLS, and she is prepared to tell you exactly why. It’s had an enormous impact on her personal life (we get to that story later in my interview with her), but what she really wants to explore in GODDESS: THE FALL AND RISE OF SHOWGIRLS, the documentary that she is making with Jeffry Schwarz, is the cultural impact it’s had on all of us. And how the critics got it so wrong when it was released in 1999.
She makes her case. Allowing for the sometimes unfortunate dialogue, she sees Nomi Malone’s journey as a celebration of female power and the glories of excess in telling a story. This is, after all, a film that has spawned a sock-puppet version in more than one city.
Knowles discusses some of the people interviewed for the film, including Paul Verhoeven’s theory about sex, and what it was like for her to meet Alan Rachins, who played her favorite character, Tony Moss. We also had a puckishly philosophical chat about what it is about horror films that got its hooks into her at a young age, and resulted in her penning a perfectly delightful horror-comedy, CHASTITY BITES.