Sharon stone

The quiet dignity of Angela Rayner

In those gentle days before internet pornography there was a book you could buy which listed the precise moment in each Hollywood film when the sex scene began, or when the leading lady – very often Greta Scacchi – got her kit off, thus enabling one to buy the video, or rent it from Blockbuster, and fast-forward to the, uh, important bit. Apparently the most requested fast-forward was of Sharon Stone in Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct: a film as dumb as pretty much everything else the Dutchman has committed to celluloid, even if his reputation has lately been rehabilitated (for reasons I do not understand). Stone played a bisexual novelist

The genius of Basic Instinct

Our occasional series on cinema’s most underrated films arrives at what many have considered the peak of misogynistic trash.  We’re in 1980s America, and a bunch of Hollywood execs are puffing on cigars, sipping scotch. ‘You know, I’ve been hearing a lot about these so-called “liberated women”. What do you think they’re like?’ And thus — or so I imagine — the erotic thriller was born.  Everything we’ve learned from the #MeToo accusations, scandalous trials and casting-couch innuendos suggests powerful men might have been shocked to learn that there were women engaging in sexual activity voluntarily — without having to be coerced or forced. Is this why they made so