#9 Basic Instinct

"Those Who Didn't Like Men"

About Paul Verhoeven's film by Thomas Aïdan

Book offered incinemas showing the film

Basic Instinct is probably the most famous film of Paul Verhoeven's feverish and political filmography. Hitchcockian at will, it was nevertheless misunderstood, and very badly judged when it was released in 1992. The film was scandalous, because of its relationship to sexuality and its explicit representation, it was above all avant-garde and deeply dialectic. He collects almost all the Verhoevian motifs, wonderfully exalts all the founding stones of mannerism, organizes a whole fetishist ceremony that praises voyeurism.

On the occasion of its release in theaters, in a restored version (finally), this short book unravels everything that makes up the charm and intelligence of this political and vertiginous firebrand. But also recounts the production process, sometimes stormy, while analyzing the different aesthetics at work. A way to breathe new life into a film that will have undergone many hasty judgments, while it is infinitely modern, especially on her views on female sexuality. This emotionally invigorating and intellectually exciting gem is to be unfolded step by step, to capture all of its masterful substance.
Thomas Aïdan is a film critic, founder and editorial director of La Septième Obsession. He is also a book editor at Aedon, a publishing house of which he is the creator. He has also been at the head of the Ciné Club Jean Douchet at the Cinéma du Panthéon since 2019.