sissydude sinema: CRUISING (1980)
Cruising is a 1980 psychological thriller film directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino. The film is loosely based on the novel of the same name, by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker, about a serial killer targeting gay men, in particular those associated with the S&M scene.
Poorly reviewed by critics, Cruising was a modest financial success, though the filming and promotion were dogged by gay rights protesters. The title is a play on words with a dual meaning, as “cruising” can describe police officers on patrol and also cruising for sex.
“The interesting thing about that movie is it gets short-circuited a bit too quickly in people’s eyes. If you forget about the whole murder mystery backstory and you just look at the bar scenes, I think it’s quite an insightful, important document of an important subculture, right before AIDS hits, in 1979 New York.” – Travis Mathews (director of “I Want Your Love”)
“I loved Cruising — while everyone else was furiously condemning it. It had an underground decadence that wasn’t that different from The Story of O or other European high porn of the 1960s.” She also praised the soundtrack, and added, “The gay opposition to Cruising prefigured the dismayingly Stalinist gay and feminist picketing of Basic Instinct.” -Camille Paglia