Cruising ★★★★★

Like a popper-fueled 42nd St. Heart of Darkness.

I can understand why gay groups had so many issues with this at the time, but I think a lot of the criticisms are unfounded. It's such an incredible snapshot of a specific time/place, and, along with Querelle from the same year, the closest that leather and kink ever got to the mainstream before AIDS hit. What I find really fascinating about Cruising is just how accurately it portrays the sort of relationship and struggle that the police and the LGBT community were locked in at the time - and, even, still now - the way that the police's interest in the case is less about actually caring for or protecting a vulnerable class, but is instead motivated by pure, cold politics. And the fact that the bar scenes in this may be some of the most erotic scenes I've ever seen in a mainstream film just make me love it even more. Whatta movie.

Wish the original theatrical cut (without Friedkin's color changes and added effects) would get a release.

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