William Friedkin's controversial 1980 film Cruising is making the rounds of a few selected theaters this week before Warner Home Video releases it September 18 in a new deluxe DVD. Mr. Friedkin took a moment to sit down with Cinematical to discuss the film and the mysteries of life.
Cinematical: Are you fairly confident that Cruising will be accepted today, or will there still be some controversy?
William Friedkin: I have no idea. The times are different. At the time we made and released it, it was the first small steps of gay liberation. They had just begun to make gains to get recognition, have some political clout. Prior to that time, they had none. They were an oppressed minority. And Cruising of course was not what you would choose as the best foot forward for a bourgeoning political movement. And there were a lot of people in the gay community who were conscious of that and they protested it, but in doing so, they probably brought more attention to it than it might have gotten.