September 19, 2007

Interview. William Friedkin.

Cruising "In a strange way, Cruising has come full circle and become a part of gay history, a creepily affecting time capsule of a subculture the mainstream otherwise ignored completely," wrote Nathan Rabin a couple of weeks ago at the AV Club. Now the film's out on DVD, and at the main site, Jeffrey M Anderson talks with William Friedkin about "the existence of good and evil in all of us, which is what all of my films are about," and about what binds Cruising to The Exorcist.

Reviewing the release for the New York Times, Dave Kehr sees the connection, too. Friedkin's "enduring theme is the reality of evil and its uncomfortable proximity to sex, a theme the world embraced when he adapted William Peter Blatty's theological best seller, The Exorcist, in 1973. But applying a similar gothic approach to Cruising - a film noir that turns into a horror movie - got Mr Friedkin in trouble, and not only the political kind."

Updated through 9/21.

"Maybe now, thanks to Larry Craig, Cruising will at long last get its due," suggests Trenton Straube at Slate.

Updates, 9/21: Nathan Rabin talks with Friedkin, too - for the AV Club.

"Cruising does stand as a fascinating relic of its era," writes the Guardian's Danny Leigh. "If it is possible to separate the purely cinematic from the furore Friedkin caused, what's left is a febrile and oddly melancholy movie which, although roughly finished, offered any number of indelible moments and a portrait of a lost New York every bit as powerful as Taxi Driver, the first couple of Ramones albums or the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe."

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Posted by dwhudson at September 19, 2007 12:40 AM