Swoon: Director's Vision Edition
Tom Kalin's Swoon gives the truest account yet of one of the 20th century's most notorious crimes: The 1924 thrill-kill murder of a 13-year-old boy in south-side Chicago by "genius" college students and lovers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. It's the same story that inspired Hitchcock's Rope and Meyer Levin's novel, Compulsion, but Swoon f-rces its driving homoeroticism into the daylight (not to mention the Jewishness of both killers and victim). Featuring the legendary Ron Vawter as the prosecuting state's attorney, Swoon flexes its brainy elegance to question the "queerness" of the case, and even extends the story to reveal how each of the imprisoned duo met his eventual death. A former member of New York's ACT UP and the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury, Kalin is bracingly indifferent to the tyranny of "positive images" where same-sex desire is concerned, and Swoon, in its defiance and its lyrical intelligence, stands peerless within the last century's queerly-inclined cinema.