!(feature_l)http://relayer.s3.amazonaws.com/articles/spreads/4c964a65c1531723a0000c54.jpg!William Friedkin’s landmark film has finally made its debut on DVD. Al Pacinos stars in Cruising, an intense thriller set against the gay S & M subculture of the late ’70s and it prompted widespread community protests on its release in 1980. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it remains an intriguing insight into a seedy world largely unknown at the time.
Academy Award winner William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) from his own screenplay adaptation of Gerald Walker’s novel, the film stars Academy Award-winner Al Pacino as an undercover cop who infiltrates New York City’s leather bar scene, and whose identity and relationships are hauntingly affected by his assignment.
Cruising incited New York’s gay community like nothing had since the rioting after the 1969 police raid on Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn. The incident became a watershed event for the gay civil rights movement. The clashes during Cruising production centered around objections to the stereotyping of gay characters. Friedkin claims never to have intended any lifestyle generalisations. “But that world did exist and I tried to portray it objectively without any moral comment,” the director says today. “Those murders happened [in real life], and it was always my intention to make a film, set in that milieu, that would be an unsettling experience and to ask the question when you look at someone, ‘Do you really know who they are?’.”
Friedkin has personally supervised the creation of an all new high-definition master and new 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track for the release with new director commentary. Also included are eminent documentarian Laurent Bouzereau’s two new featurettes containing interviews with actors and filmmakers who provide thorough perspective on the incidents surrounding the production.
Cruising Deluxe Edition is out to buy now. See the trailer: