Director Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct is a seminal erotic thriller. The noir tinged film effectively kick-started the genre in the 1990s and made a star of Sharon Stone in the process. It’s the middle instalment in what Michael Douglas calls his ‘pants down trilogy’ alongside Fatal Attraction and Disclosure.
Verhoeven’s film and Joe Eszterhas‘ script took the Hitchcockian thriller, removed a lot of the Hitch and added a more cock. It was a huge success at the box office and causing a lot of controversy on the process. The 1992 release grossed $117.7 million at the US box office and $352.9 million worldwide.
This new transfer of the film is restored from the original 35MM negative – supervised by Verhoeven himself and the blu-ray release features a brand new 52 minute documentary, Basic Instinct: Death, Sex & Stone which includes new interviews with Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas.
Basic Instinct will be made available by StudioCanal on Ultra HD, Blu-Ray, DVD and Steelbook editions from 14 June 2021.
Michael Douglas stars as hardboiled San Francisco detective Nick Curran, a troubled cop with a history of trigger-happy shootings and a weakness for beautiful women and dangerous relationships. Sharon Stone is Catherine Tramell, a stunning, enigmatic novelist with a talent for seduction and a history of relationships that end in death. The death of a former rock star sends Nick into the orbit of the victim’s lover, Catherine, who immediately becomes prime suspect in the murder. Catherine ignites Nick’s suspicions and his passion, and he soon becomes involved in his most dangerous liaison yet.
About the restoration:
The aim was to create an image just as crisp as audiences had enjoyed in 1992. The first step was to scan the 35MM image negative of the film in 4K DPX LOG 16 bits on Scanity – but the restoration team at Hiventy Laboratory in Joinville-le-Pont noticed a problem with the negative. STUDIOCANAL project manager, Sophie Boyer, explains – “we quickly realized that the negatives corresponded to the short version of the film. In addition, some shots from the most erotic scenes were censored in the United States. We went looking for these cuts: their negatives had disappeared, but we found them in the internegative. Thanks to this, we were able to restore the full-length version of the film, the only version that Paul Verhoeven wanted to have restored.”
All damages on the negatives were identified: stains, scratches, dusty shots and instabilities. DIAMANT film software was used to remove these defects. The laboratory undertook over 100 hours of manual removal of the dark stains. Light filtering was applied to remove the superficial defects, with particular care taken to retain the grain and the texture of the original image. The film was colour graded for theatrical, home entertainment and 4K HDR release using previous digital releases and 35MM prints as a reference. The colour-grading required a painstaking homogenization between the different versions (the European cut vs. censored versions). The sound was similarly restored – the dynamic of the mixes was improved and the sync checked throughout, with corrections made using Protools plug-ins for a 5.1 + 2.0 version, from sources 3324.
SPECIAL FEATURES available on Ultra HD, Blu-Ray, DVD and Steelbook:
- New documentary – Basic Instinct: Sex, Death & Stone
- New featurette – An unending story – Scoring Basic Instinct
- New – Trailer
- Making of featurette – Blonde Poison
- Cast & Crew interviews featurette
- Storyboard comparisons
- Screen tests
- Audio commentary by Paul Verhoeven & Jan de Bont
- Audio commentary by Camille Paglia