A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York’s S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to lear and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society. While barely seeing his girlfriend Nancy anymore, the work starts to change him. –Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
William Friedkin (born 29 August 1935) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter best known for directing The French Connection in 1972 and The Exorcist in 1973; for the former, he won the Academy Award for Best Director. His recent film, Bug (2006) won the FIPRESCI prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
After seeing the movie Citizen Kane as a boy, Friedkin became fascinated with movies and began working for WGN-TV immediately after high school. He eventually started his directorial career doing live television shows and documentaries, including The People vs. Paul Crump which won several awards and contributed to the commutation of Crump’s death sentence. As mentioned in Friedkin’s voice-over commentary on the DVD re-release of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Friedkin also directed one of the last episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965, called “Off Season”. Hitchcock admonished Friedkin for not wearing a tie… read more
A time capsule of mindset and culture, with a pungent masochistic streak to match Killer Joe, in pitting the S&M gay underground against the stern orthodoxy of the thin blue line, only to be bound by Pacino as inquisitor and saviour (?). Yet there lies an elegance in Friedkin’s mise en scene that curbs gratuity; human angles that add slightest texture to the doubly masculine proceedings. While the final depiction can be inconsistent, indeterminate and struggle to overcome its slasher cycle, Friedkin’s thriller craft remains sturdy throughout.
Here's the thing about Friedkin. He is, quite simply, the greatest. Or at the very least one of the greatest. And Cruising is one of his very best films. An understated but very effective performance from Pacino coupled with some bizarre surreal sequences and profoundly affecting violence, as well as being bathed in that denim blue light that Friedkin so often employs. Influences from Giallo are clear. 5 stars
The great American director on his new movie, the classic The Exorcist and the controversial Cruising.
A deranged serial killer is on the loose and is killing patrons of gay S&M clubs. Officer Steve Burns(Al Pacino) is chosen by the chief of police to go undercover as a gay male and find this mad… read review