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Wed, Jul 20 at 3:10pm, 8:00pm


  • Dir. Paul Verhoeven
  • USA/France
  • 1992
  • 127 min.
  • R
  • 4K DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Queer Qlassics.

Wed, July 20 at 8:00pm: Pre-recorded introduction from author, speaker, poet and comedian Alok Vaid-Menon, with brief in-person introduction from film critic Jason Shawhan, and trivia contest, "Guess That Bi Icon," hosted by Sheronica Hayes, special projects associate at the Belcourt | BUY TICKETS

Famous and infamous in equal measure for 30 years, BASIC INSTINCT has attained a weird respectability since it ignited culture wars and entranced a pre-Internet porn world. Protested and boycotted on initial release, Paul Verhoeven’s sleaze noir reinvigorated the erotic thriller on a global scale. And what then seemed a case of hero cops versus bisexual stereotypes has now done a 180-degree shift for the “Be Gay Do Crimes” era, presided over by the iconic Sharon Stone in a starmaking performance that has only grown into more of an archetype for agency and running things. The film that made ice picks and Belgian rave music into cultural focal points, BASIC INSTINCT is a testament to a different kind of horny, teasing audiences and disrupting complacency with percolating glee.

“...Feels like the quintessential Verhoeven movie with its boundary pushing depictions of sex and violence and its prodding of conservative and liberal mores.” —Eric Hillis, The Movie Waffler

"BASIC INSTINCT transfers Mr. Verhoeven's flair for action-oriented material to the realm of Hitchcockian intrigue, and the results are viscerally effective even when they don't make sense.” —Janet Maslin, New York Times (1992)

“What makes BASIC INSTINCT a guilty pleasure is the shameless and stylish way Verhoeven lets rip with his own basic instinct for disreputably alluring entertainment.” —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

See the Official Website