Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Cruising (1980)
Steve: Excuse me?
Hankie Salesman: Yeah? What?
Steve: I was just looking at all these colored handkerchiefs you have for sale here and... well, I'm kinda new around here and I noticed that nearly all of the guys wondering outside have one or more of these colored hankies in their rear pockets. Could you tell me what they mean?
Hankie Salesman: The blue hankie means blow-job. You have one hanging out of your left pants pocket means you want a blow-job. A blue in the right rear pocket is you give them. The green hankie in your right rear pocket means you're a hustler. The green hankie in your left rear means you're looking to buy. The yellow hankie in your left rear pocket means you give golden shower. The yellow in the right rear means you receive gold. The red hankie in your left rear pocket means you give S&M. The red in the right...
Steve: Okay! Enough! Thanks.

In case you need to see that scene play itself out some kind soul uploaded the entire thing onto YouTube right here -- I'm so glad we can wear handkerchiefs in Springsteen-loving peace these days because all that noise is exhausting. I mean I have a copy of Hal Fischer's book Gay Semiotics but I'm never going to memorize that shit. Wouldn't it have been amazing though if the new blu-ray that Arrow Films just put out this week had come wrapped in randomly colored handkerchiefs? Collect them all, kids!

The blu-ray doesn't go quite that far (sigh) but it's still a kick-ass set that finally gives some due to Friedkin's highly controversial gay serial killer film, most specifically with the brand new 4K restoration on display -- I scanned through of it some the other night and a film that's always been muddy when I've watched it before (see that clip I linked to above for what I mean) really comes to life here -- those blacks, those blues, those bright red hankies...


Matthew said...

Not judging, we all have our own takes and tastes, but it drives me crazy that most gay men really like this turgid and explicitly anti-gay movie. The explicitly anti-gay part, for me, is not the overall theme or the fact that it's about what was at the time YET ANOTHER gay killer, but that the movie very strongly makes the argument that homosexuality is both contagious and the same as murder. Maybe the most damning scene in that respect is when the victim is murdered with a knife in the back, an obvious parallel to gay sex. And, of course, the killer-homo stuff really rubs off on Al. It's stylishly made, but ... yikes, this is one I've never been able to reclaim. Same with "Basic Instinct" — it's all about how lesbianism is murder. (And that one is also just laughably poorly done.)

pony said...

I misread and thought they had actually done the hankie wrapping thing to the blu ray, which would've been genius!! in the first episode of seth abramovich's podcast 'it happened in hollywood', which is an interview with friedkin about 'the exorcist', he tells the story of how he got involved in this - the male nurse that straps regan to the machine at the hospital (when they're still trying to figure out whats wrong with her) turned out to be a murderer who cruised the leather bars, and is now alive and well and still living in nyc after purging his sentence. maybe I'm the only one who hadn't heard that story, but I loved it, and this movie rocks.