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Cruising

Cruising SECOND TIME AROUND D. A. MILLER CRUISING “The leather scene of Cruising is simply a background for a murder mystery.” Ever since the filming of Cruising was being disrupted by New York gay protesters in 1979, William Friedkin has made this point so often that, in his commentary on Cruising’s new DVD edition, doubtless impatient to be done with it once for all, he gives it the self-evidence of tautology: “The background of the leather bars . . . is simply a unique background.” But no amount of mantric repetition can change the fact that where Cruising is concerned, the leather scene, precisely for its “unique” aspect, is not, nor ever was, simply a background. On the contrary, without this background, Friedkin himself was not interested in the murder mystery. When he was first asked to adapt Gerald Walker’s 1970 source novel, whose homosexuals were slender, wore bangs, and did not, biblically speaking, know their ass from their elbow, he took a bored pass. That was before, wearing nothing but a jockstrap, and (just in case) accompanied by an armed mafia escort in the same costume, he started venturing into the Mine Shaft to see for himself the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Film Quarterly University of California Press

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