Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Director William Friedkin is responsible for several iconic films, including The Exorcist, The French Connection, Boys in the Band, and, of course, the controversial 1980 film Cruising, starring Al Pacino as a go-getter detective who goes undercover in the gay leather community and shady areas of public parks in an effort to solve a string of murders. Twenty-seven years ago, gay activists picketed theatres where it screened, decrying what they saw as the implicit suggestion that all gay men are leather/S&M-obsessed serial murderers. Seeing it today, it seems rather more tame than all that, and Friedkin was (sadly) clearly ahead of his time in replacing the disco standards in the clubs with early grunge music. The new digitally restored print belies the dated hairstyles and clothes, not to mention the conspicuous absence of any computers for Internet cruising. Cruising begins a limited theatrical re-release this week in advance of the special edition DVD release on 2007-09-18.

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