S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(aka 'William Friedkin's Cruising')
|Cruising has a special niche in gay history as the queer equivalent of Birth of a Nation — a film in which an artist outside a subculture creates what appears to be a disturbingly negative, ill-informed portrait of that subculture. Since D. W. Griffith has been dead for almost 50 years, we have no way of knowing how he might react to the controversy that still surrounds Birth of a Nation. Friedkin, on the other hand, was violently attacked (verbally) by the gay press for supposedly equating homosex with murder, to the extent that Cruising was re-edited into near-incomprehensibility and prefaced by a groveling statement that "The film is not intended as an indictment of the homosexual world. It is set in one small segment of that world which is not meant to be representative of the whole."|
Theatrical Release: February 8th, 1980
DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 4.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, French , None|
by director William Friedkin
In regards to the image - I don't know that I can add much more than simply viewing the screen captures below. Black levels are pitch (almost approaching edge enhancement - but if existing at all it is very minor) and the progressive, dual-layered and anamorphic image has decent detail. In fact I suspect the film looked almost exactly as it appears on this DVD - a shade gritty and darkish. Once we venture beyond the caverns of darkness that frequently atmosphere the film, colors seem quite true and unmanipulated. I'm unsure but it would seem highly unlikely that the 5.1 audio is original but even as a bump it sounded buoyant and quite strong for dialogue etc. - there is a Spanish mono DUB offered. There are optional English, French or Spanish subtitles supporting the audio.
Supplements include a very good commentary by director Friedkin. He doesn't over-do the narration (although he does a fair bit) and brings up extensive details probably unknown to many excepting the producers of the film. He talks about the actual historical events behind the plot. He is good to listen to, his memory is sharp, and he has a kind of controlled enthusiasm in his voice. I enjoyed it very much. There are also two 20 minute featurettes on the 'Making of...' probably divided into individual parts to avoid the legalities of payment of the participants - dependant on the running length of the piece. Input is included from many associated with the production - certainly far better than the usual fluff we tend to get.
Overall, I have wanted to re-watch this film for about 20 years and assumed there was some reason beyond my knowledge as to why it remained so clandestine. Although some claim it has exploitive elements, which are actually far more tame nowadays, Cruising has some intensely suspense moments and I again found it very enjoyable with strong performances - super value for the price.