FilmOut San Diego presents Basic Instinct
as part of its daylong Love Gone Wrong
Marathon at Birch North Park Theatre. This controversial, stylish 1992 erotic thriller mixes perverse sexuality and bloodshed often seen in European thrillers but at the time, mostly taboo in the U.S. Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is a successful bisexual mystery writer who may also be a ruthless murderer. Everyone close to Catherine dies, and troubled police officer Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) is determined to find out why. In the process, Nick becomes sexually involved with both Catherine and police psychiatrist Beth Gardner (Jeanne Tripplehorn). Meanwhile, the bodies pile up, and Catherine turns the cat-and-mouse game around on Nick. Director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas keep the tension taut throughout, even during the frequent sex scenes, which carry a violent edge reminiscent of the Italian thrillers of Dario Argento. The film's most notorious scene, a police interrogation in which Catherine makes drooling fools out of her inquisitors by revealing with a cross of her leg that she's not wearing underwear, became a cultural touchstone and was widely imitated and parodied.
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