Cruising ★★★★½

i was surprised to learn ppl protested the filming n release of this movie. i understand it mightve been out of fear for the depiction of gay men being violently murdered on screen, that in turn could be used as an excuse to justify hate crimes at the time, but the film itself actually seemed respectful of its subject matter. cruising surprised me as a beautifully cinematographed n complex american giallo that would make for an amazing double feature w hellbent (2004). al pacino plays a cop who embodies toxic masculinity n the fragility of a man's ego that urges him to dominate women as a way of reassuring himself, all while dealing w internalized homophobia n the desire to change the police force from within, an illusion as stupid as the idea that any institution cares about the deaths of poor gay men. the movie even goes as far as calling out police brutality through that analysis, especially when enacted against a mentally ill, wrongly accused victim.

if anything, the open ending added layers to the film. it makes u think that homophobia (both overt n covert) can be found in any cishet person. it's a part of systematic oppression as much as it's also smth that undeniably happens on an individual lvl, whether youre ready to acknowledge that or not.

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