FromDarkman 01.09.16 - 30.09.16 Vertigo, d. Alfred Hitchcock (1958) The Neon Demon, d. Nicolas Winding Refn (2016) Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, d. David Lynch (1992) City of the Living Dead, d. Lucio Fulci (1980) The Beyond, d. Lucio Fulci (1981) The Mummy's Shroud, d. John Gilling (1970) Villain, d. Michael Tuchner (1971) Who? d. Jack Gold (1975) Capricorn One, d. Peter Hyams (1977) Wiener-Dog, d. Todd Solondz (2016) The Shallows, d. Jaume Collet-Serra Figures in a Landscape, d. Dudley Shaw Ashton (1953) Problems End, d. Derek Phillips (1964) Rufus De Pinto: Artist & Eccentric, d. Unknown (1965) St Adolf II, d. Lionel Miskin (1971) Towers, d. Brodnax Moore & Annette Kuhn (1977) Being and Doing, d. Ken McMullen (1985) Writers' and Artists Commune, d. Unknown (1970) A Beautiful Way To Live, d. Harry Aldous (1971) I Know What I Like: Artists, d. David St David Smith (1983) Kinetics, d. Lutz Becker (1972) Not So Much A Facelift...d. Philip Harland (1976) Cruising, d. William Friedkin (1980) A History of Violence, d. David Cronenberg (2005) Suicide Circle, d. Sion Sono (2001) The Happiness of the Katakuris, d. Takashi Miike (2001) Embrace of the Serpent, d. Ciro Guerra (2015) Scarface, d. Brian De Palma (1983) The Fog, d. John Carpenter (1980) Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, d. Tommy Lee Wallace (1982) The Fury, d. Brian De Palma (1979) Cat's Eye, d. Lewis Teague (1985) Silver Bullet, d. Dan Attias (1985) Donovan's Brain, d. Felix Feist (1953) Invisible Invaders, d. Edward L. Cahn (1959) Hands of the Ripper, d. Peter Sasdy (1971) Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde, d,. Roy Ward Baker (1971) The Ghoul, d. Freddie Francis (1975) High Rise, d. Ben Wheatley (2015) Darkman, d. Sam Raimi (1990) Darkman II: The Return of Durant, d. Bradford May (1995) Flesh for Frankenstein, d. Paul Morrissey (1973) Star Trek Beyond, d. Justin Lin (2016)
Cruising presents a very
selective view of the New York gay community, specifically the highly promiscuous underground scene,
where sweaty men in cut off police uniforms sniff amyl nitrate soaked rags and
fist each other. It’s a world of sex and submission and a serial killer* on the loose, a man with mirror shades, a biker cap and a steak knife. It’s a
controversial and extreme portrait, and there was a serious attempt to derail
the film during production, with people protesting on location and using
mirrors to disrupt filming. The ending, in which it is inferred that
immersion in the gay scene leads to psychosis, is fudged just enough not to be out and out defamatory, but remains offensive.
Investigating the case is a
permed and pumped up Al Pacino, deep undercover and gradually losing his mind
and conventional sexuality. Pacino is normally a fine actor, but he seems ill
at ease and distracted, seemingly more concerned with leaning against railings
and climbing onto benches to conceal his lack of height than conveying the slow
unravelling of his character.
Rumours abound that the films meaning
was compromised by extensive cuts (including the removal of hardcore pornography) but this misses the point. Cruising is an out and out
exploitation film, and its big budget and the reputation of its director and star can’t
make it honest or respectable. It’s a dirty film, not because of what it depicts, but
because of the intentions behind it. * Or two, or three...
Benjamin Marra is a hell of a talent, even though most of what he does is pure evil. Night Business is a relentlessly violent and extravagantly sexual cocktail of pulp fiction and porn, a comic strip rendition of the sort of films that Abel Ferrara and Brian De Palma spent much of the 70s and 80s making, although even those distinguished gentlemen would have baulked at having a topless female vigilante motorcyclist as a heroine. All that’s missing is the sound of synths.