Cruising has, to some extent, been defanged by the passage of time, its campier moments and macho signifiers embraced by a younger generation of queers. Clearly, though, the film still touches nerves: flame wars are being ignited as fast as they are being put out on Craigslist.com. And even for this gay fan of slasher movies, the film's murder scenes are incomparably unsettling.
After a recent local media screening of the restored movie's DVD release — at which director William Friedkin was present — DJ Bus Station John, whose clubs Tubesteak Connection and the Rod evoke the milieu of gay nightlife at the time Cruising was made, commented in an e-mail that "Friedkin's present claim that contemporary audiences are more 'sophisticated' and therefore more receptive to Cruising, if not more friendly [to the film], doesn't mitigate the damage done to our community at the time [of its release]."
Sept. 7–13, $6–$9
429 Castro, SF
For Johnny Ray Huston's interview with Cruising director William Friedkin, go to Pixel Vision at www.sfbg.com/blogs/pixel_vision.