Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.
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Re: Cruising

#101 Post by _shadow_ » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:11 pm

Arrow's BD is an improvement on the prior DVD at least in taking the blue filter down from 11, but still a miss overall. It seems like this is mostly due to Friedkin's influence and Arrow wasn't able to do what they would have wanted with it.

But the choice of essay for the booklet empasizes that this is a straight person's presentation of gay culture to a straight audience, and I couldn't help feeling that even more intensely when seeing the movie again.

The leather guys dancing to punk rock is a good example of the film's "Bizzaro World" POV - sadly, its mix of real-life people and locations with a purely filmic fantasy of what those people did there seems to be taken at face value by contemporary viewers.

This release would have benefitted from multiple gay perspectives on the film, but there's not really much depth in any of the (ported) features, and it's not like Friedkin's a reliable narrator. In a typical example, the essay talks about Friedkin just happening to think about Pacino's character maybe being the killer while editing the film, even though this is taken directly from the book, which presents it quite overtly. And it seems like nobody's really read the book, when it would have been fascinating to look into the book in detail - what reaction it received when published, and how it evolved into the final film.

And of course the "clinking chains" sound over the final shot of Pacino is gone in the new audio mix. The BD's new opening titles are better than the DVDs new titles, but this film is primarily valuable as a historical document so erasing the "this film isn't about most gays just the perverted ones" disclaimer means viewers are missing valuable context as to how this was presented to its initial audience.

At least the DNR is not as pervasive and extreme as I'd expected based on screenshots.

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Re: Cruising

#102 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:18 pm

The other notorious 'straight view of gay people' film from 1980 which is a bit more obscure these days for obvious reasons is Windows (the only directorial credit of cinematographer Gordon Willis), in which a friendly passing lesbian helps a woman who is being stalked, but then the big thriller twist is:
that she is the obsessive stalker herself and even hired the man to attack her object of desire so that she could swoop in to save the day

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Re: Cruising

#103 Post by R0lf » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:26 am

_shadow_ wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:11 pm
This release would have benefitted from multiple gay perspectives on the film, but there's not really much depth in any of the (ported) features, and it's not like Friedkin's a reliable narrator.
Gary Needham who was announced for the original commentary (that was buried) is a gay academic who specialises in LGBT culture. I presume because of any previous “controversy” they didn’t want to include any gay content? Or they didn’t care?

It’s also a bit on the nose that the blurb for the movie on the rear cover skirts around using the word GAY to an almost ludicrous degree.

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Re: Cruising

#104 Post by zedz » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:25 pm

This is such a hapless film. Apart from being obnoxious in its historical context, it's just not very good on any level. I can only assume that its defenders are more enamoured of its unrealized potential than its actual achievements. It could have been a valuable depiction of an underexplored subculture - but it isn't. It could have been an examination of establishment - and specifically police - homophobia - but it isn't. It could have been an intriguing character study of a closeted cop who has to go undercover as himself, and then has to deal with the personal fallout of that - but it isn't. It could have been a suspenseful thriller - but it isn't. It would have been so easy for it to be a dumb, oblivious camp frolic - but it's too po-faced and nasty to even clear that lowest of hurdles. It's like Friedkin latched onto some 'edgy' content but had no idea what to do with it, or thought that that was enough, and Pacino seems to be just as bewildered.

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