Paul Scheer sheds some light on The Room, lets us in on a secret in The Disaster Artist, and answers your questions. Plus, we explore the origins of midnight movies and take a look at IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.
New York trapper Tom Dobb becomes an unwilling participant in the American Revolution after his son Ned is drafted into the Army by the villainous Sergeant Major Peasy. Tom attempts to find... See full summary »
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 learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society. While barely seeing his girlfriend Nancy anymore, the work starts changing him. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
During a murder scene in a room at the St. James Hotel where a man is stabbed to death on a bed, director William Friedkin edited in several near-subliminal frames from a gay hardcore movie that can clearly be seen in slow motion on DVD. See more »
When the first victim gets stabbed blood is shown running off his shoulder but the knife is spotless. See more »
I was just looking at all these colored handkerchiefs you have for sale here and... well, I'm kinda new around here and I noticed that nearly all of the guys wondering outside have one or more of these colored hankies in their rear pockets. Could you tell me what they mean?
The blue hankie means blow-job. You have one hanging out of your left pants pocket means you want a blow-job. A blue in the right rear pocket is you give them. The green hankie in your right rear ...
[...] See more »
The film only opens with the title in large letters, across the screen. It is only at the end where the filmmakers are credited. See more »
Despite all the mega-negative publicity before and after the making of
film, I have to say that I find "Cruising" a masterpiece of ambiguity.
is no clear-cut narrative, no definable character motivations, and the
obligatory "cop-entering-the-killer's-mind" scenario gets drowned in an
atmosphere of violence and dread that sort of saturates the entire movie.
But what a descent into Hades it is!
I've admired William Friedkin's work since "The French Connection"
presented to me a cop film with an unsympathetic protagonist as well as a
collection of amazing action setpieces unaccompanied by any noisy,
Kenny Loggins or Michael Kamen tunes in the background. Plus, there's that
downbeat conclusion where the movie basically STOPS rather than ends. No
clear resolutions, nothing. What nerve this guy has.
I admired "Sorcerer" and "To Live and Die In L.A." for a lot of the same
reasons, primarily their edgy and stark determination to tell stories with
no answers. So what are we left with in "Cruising"? Friedkin's exceptional
yet manipulative film technique and a lot of sweaty men dancing in West
Village dungeons, popping amyl nitrates, and moving to some of the
Village-People-on-P.C.P. dance music that I've ever heard (try cranking
soundtrack up at a party).
But "Cruising" is a true experiment in movie suspense. It uses some
fantastic atmosphere (sound effects and the late Jack Nitschze's superb
score) to unsettle the audience. Friedkin's use of multiple actors to play
the same killer, the switching over mid-film to tell the killer's story
instead of having him remain an ominous presence (a technique Michael Mann
used to similar effect in "Manhunter"), and the film's ending with its
peaceful music serenading shots of the New York City harbor--the dump site
for many of the killer's victims--all function as a sort of test. Can we
absorbed by a movie that makes it clear that there really is no certainty
logic to what we're watching? That there is no firm ground to stand on?
almost like watching a sinking ship.
It seems to me that Friedlkin always wants his audience on edge, and he
wants us to be constantly challenged by not only the tough subject matter,
but where Pacino's undercover detective figures into the whole sordid
The novel explains more about the homophobia and hostility in Steve Burns,
but the film keeps all of these elements surface; we're almost numbed into
kind of voyeuristic fascination (or revulsion) at the ugly sights. And
left out in the cold regarding Burns' true feelings. Maybe some of the
film's detractors would have preferred a voice-over? Not too much suspense
Luckily, Pacino's performance is low-key as well (a luxury we don't enjoy
these days with any of his post"Scent of a Woman" exercises in Circus
acting) and this further causes us to distrust our own "hero".
So amidst all this confusion, what is there left to recommend? "Cruising"
a risk-taking thriller with the audacity to shock, revolt, and confuse
without losing any of its intensity or pace. It's merits lie in its unique
respect for the audience, thinking that we don't need everything explained
to us. Just as the gay leather underworld is its own surreal type of
subculture, so should our approach to viewing the film remain unbiased by
red herrings or should we have any expectations that the film will lead us
along, "keep our interest", or enlighten us in the end. I mean, after all,
this isn't "Agatha Christie".
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