“Basic Instinct” director, Paul Verhoeven has complained that Hollywood had stopped making “challenging” movies featuring provocative sex as it clamored to cash in on mainstream audiences.
The Dutch filmmaker, famous for a slew of films that shocked audiences with their sex and violence, said studios chasing ratings were now mainly interested in the lucrative “PG-13” market.
“If you say it has to be PG-13, there are a lot of things you cannot do. You cannot be provocative, you cannot be controversial, you cannot be sexual, erotic, in a direct way,” he told AFP.
“It all has to be suggestive, elliptic and whatever. And so then the movies become neutral and the movies are not challenging you in any way.”
The legendary filmmaker was behind ultraviolent 1980s and 1990s classics “RoboCop,” “Total Recall” and “Starship Troopers,” as well as erotic films like “Showgirls” and “Basic Instinct.”
He spoke out on the red carpet for the Los Angeles-based AFI Fest screening of his latest controversial film “Elle,” a twisted cocktail of sex, violence and dark comedy that is France’s pick to compete for the best foreign film Oscar.
With its radical take on the aftermath of a brutal sex crime, the movie garnered rave reviews when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and drew plenty of dark laughs from the audience on Sunday.
It tells the story of a powerful woman played by iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert, who is violently raped and embarks on a dangerous game with her attacker.