18
2hrs 8mins

An outrageous ‘90s classic that canonically re-defined the erotic thriller,Basic Instinct combines Hitchcockian neo-noir with transgressive sex and violence, creating one of cinema’s battiest, most subversive pot-boilers.

Unfortunately no Audio Description track is available for this feature.
Paul Verhoeven
18
Drama
Contains strong language, sex and violence
English

Michael Douglas (Falling Down, Fatal Attraction) play Nick Curran, a San Francisco police detective with a history of addiction investigating the brutal murder of a rock star.

Nick soon becomes entangled in an affair with the prime suspect, Catherine Trammell, a crime novelist whose latest work eerily resembles the crime – played with extraordinary poise and tactility by an iconic Sharon Stone (Casino, Total Recall).

With Stone’s 2021 memoir re-igniting the controversy surrounding the film’s infamous interrogation scene, it is unsurprising that this volatile, stylish, and troubling vision of desire and seduction continues to prove controversial.

Luridly embracing its pulp leanings, Verhoeven absorbed a variety of influences – from the giallo thriller to Brian De Palma – before going even further in his stylistic and graphic excess.

The result is a film full of graphic sex scenes, delirious plot twists, and a feeling of almost total unreality. Curran arguably emerges as a male fantasist equally as dangerous as Trammell’s ice-blonde femme fatale, who has a level of agency and power rarely seen in the genre.

Raucously entertaining with a layer of subversive complexity, Basic Instinct is an enduring masterpiece of slick and psychotic passion.

This film is screening at Tyneside Cinema as FLESH + BLOOD: THE CINEMA OF PAUL VERHOEVEN which you can learn more about here!

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