Few films have incited as much debate and anger within the LGBTQ+ community as William Friedkin’s flawed but fascinating 1980 feature Cruising. Starring Al Pacino as a cop who goes undercover in New York City’s gay S&M scene to investigate a killer targeting homosexual men, protesters began picketing the film during production - throwing bottles at cast and crew, making noises to ruin takes - and continued during the film’s release for what they perceived as its anti-gay message and attempt to link latent homosexuality with homicidal tendencies.
Director William Friedkin has long defended the film, but in the year 2019, is Cruising a relic of the past or an underappreciated examination of negative attitudes towards homosexuality, many of which still thrive today? University of Warwick lecturer Jose Arroyo will be asking these questions and more in a special introduction, as well as revealing his own personal link to the film.
Warning! Contains sexual imagery, violent scenes and very problematic depictions of homosexual characters.
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