Film | James Franco | News

James Franco Enters a Gay Leather Bar, Begins 'Cruising': VIDEO

Franco

James Franco has collaborated with San Francisco filmmaker Travis Matthews on the forthcoming film Interior. Leather Bar inspired by William Friedkin's iconic film Cruising.

Watch the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Write the filmmakers:

Franco2In order to avoid an X rating, 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was rumored to be cut and destroyed from the 1980 film, “Cruising.” Inspired by the mythology of this controversial film, filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews collaborate to imagine their own lost footage.

Amid the backdrop of a frenzied film set, actor Val Lauren reluctantly agrees to take the lead in the film. Val is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes on and “off camera,” as unsimulated gay sex happens around him. The film itself is constructed as a play with boundaries remaining queer in subject and form. As much a film about filmmaking as it is about an exploration of sexual and creative freedom, “Interior. Leather Bar.” defies easy categorization.

Says Franco of making the film:

"I wanted to be taken on a ride. I wanted to make a film that was as much about the experience as it was about making something. I wanted to go to a place of uncertainty, to set up parameters and then let the movie make itself. I wanted to explore the beauty of queerness, beautiful because it is counter to everything normal. As “straight” becomes the new “gay,” I wanted to find places where the anti-normative still thrived. Travis became my partner and guide on a trip to the queer-side."

Franco3Adds Matthews:

One of the first things that James and I ever talked about was gay marriage. We shared a concern that the race toward equality was also a race of straightening out the queer kinks, of erasing subcultures in favor of assimilation. It’s a conversation captured in the opening scene of the film, one that “helps inform choices” as I say. In a lot of ways this became the foundation of the film, this idea that we’d make a queer film about a gay subculture that was as much a celebration of as it was an agitator. Yes, there is gay sex in the film, but it’s the slippery way in which boundaries and definitions are in constant flux that really make it a queer film for me.

We took the mythology of a still controversial film, “Cruising” (1980), and the rumored-to-be-lost 40 minutes from the original cut of that film, as an opening for this exploration. But our film is neither a remake nor a dedicated 40 minutes of re-imagined lost footage. It’s so much more about our process of constructing this film and the mercurial ways in which the film plays with expectations and form. Is it real or is it fake, is it art or is it porn, and where exactly does one bleed into the other?

But as slippery as the film is, I was never interested in a “gotcha” moment that duped the audience. From the beginning I wanted to shine a light on the construction, to pull back the proverbial curtain between us and the audience. If people embraced the artifice, I reasoned, they’d start hunting for moments of authenticity. The actors are on a parallel journey constantly sorting out personal boundaries and sexual identities while trying to understand what it IS that we’re actually filming. James and I were no different, sometimes reaching for the map but just as often choosing to go without it.

Watch the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. For f***'s sake, just come out of the closet already, Franco.

    What straight guy decides that he has to re-create the cut footage from one of the gayest movies of all time?

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Dec 19, 2012 12:31:28 PM


  2. Francis, I was thinking the same thing.

    The guys who criticized the so-called "Gay Culture" threw me for loop yesterday. I understood what they were talking about, but I felt they were deliberately limiting the idea of a "Gay Culture". To them "Gay Culture" seemed to mean White Gay men with a lot of disposable income. We all aint that, honey.

    Gay culture has to include many sub-cultures (or communities) under the umbrella term "Gay". If not, then we ALL have to find different group titles to call ourselves other than Gay.

    I saw "Cruising" back when it came out. It featured a Gay subculture that I was not familiar with. But it fascinated me. It was also fascinating that a major movie actor (Pacino) would star in such a controversial film. Although a movie star never knows what the final film is going to look like. I guess it was the director (Friedkin) who made Pacino feel it was going to be a quality production. It was very controversial within Gay communities back then. Some of the same comments you see above were said 32 years ago (oh my God, I'm old).

    There are different types of Gay. Thank God.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 19, 2012 12:34:47 PM


  3. Oh right, let's all celebrate the abyssmal gay life of the 70's that led to half a million dead men from AIDS and every STD imaginable. With out sleaze Franco in the lead.

    Hopefully it will at least show a new generation the sight and form of Stupid before our new current freedom gets so. There is/was a whole faction of gay men who are simply suicidal. I hope enough of them are gone now to enable this film to die quickly.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 19, 2012 1:21:32 PM


  4. The kids are into rubber these days. Leather is associated with old fat guys now. Franco is trying hard to be edgy and novel, but competing with what's available online is going to be impossible.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 19, 2012 1:37:25 PM


  5. Hold your horses guys eh hee hee. This is a beautifully created film by Franco. It takes a lot of guts to make a film of this nature. The message is well delivered. The "Jamesi" does it best!!

    Posted by: Atasi | Dec 19, 2012 1:40:36 PM


  6. Jeez, Uffda. what a horrible comment. "I hope enough of them are gone now to enable this film to die quickly..." Really? Wow.

    you know, you don't have to be suicidal or stupid to get HIV or an STD. Lots of those guys in the 70s and 80s and 90s got sick because ourknowledge base and culture were different then than they are now.. there are also people who like kink and fetishes in the world, both gay and straight, and there are people who like to have sex with more than 1 partner. people are messy and unpredictable. it was ever thus, and you and everyone else like you can't do nothing to change it... instead of being horrible to those people, you could work to make those people safer. But maybe you don't care about that.. maybe all you would prefer is to see everyone tonight if they're not just like you.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Dec 19, 2012 2:01:22 PM


  7. Jeez, Uffda. what a horrible comment. "I hope enough of them are gone now to enable this film to die quickly..." Really? Wow.

    you know, you don't have to be suicidal or stupid to get HIV or an STD. Lots of those guys in the 70s and 80s and 90s got sick because ourknowledge base and culture were different then than they are now.. there are also people who like kink and fetishes in the world, both gay and straight, and there are people who like to have sex with more than 1 partner. people are messy and unpredictable. it was ever thus, and you and everyone else like you can't do nothing to change it... instead of being horrible to those people, you could work to make those people safer. But maybe you don't care about that.. maybe all you would prefer is to see everyone tonight if they're not just like you.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Dec 19, 2012 2:01:24 PM


  8. stop worrying about "how people will stereotype us"

    all the advancement in the world hasn't stopped the nation's idiots from utterly rejecting Evolution because they'd prefer to think "God did. in less than a week. and jesus had a pet dinosaur"

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 19, 2012 2:06:07 PM


  9. MILKMAN - I'm not trying to be horrible but merely to call attention to the careless sense of abandon and excess which led to the catyclismic sexual infections among gay men during the period in question. It's nothing to be remembered as anything but tragic.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 19, 2012 2:27:23 PM


  10. James Franco looks haggard, no?

    Posted by: Tundra | Dec 19, 2012 2:28:09 PM


  11. Uffda is a troll and hasn't gotten laid in years. No self respecting out gay man would engage in anything sexual with Uffda.

    Posted by: MateoM | Dec 19, 2012 3:09:34 PM


  12. Franco ain't gay.. He's just pandering to gay Hollywood.. He (brilliantly) panders to everybody, especially jews, artists, gays, druggies and scholars.. How and why are the keys..

    You've got to have liberal America on your side or your movies will never be see the light of day.. If Perez Hilton hates you then you're done.. Also, Franco claims 1/2 Jewish. Though non-practicing it's enough to get him in the the club.. He goes to multiple colleges to get degrees and glorifies professors and academics - making them cool for once.. You need these snobs on your side as well.. Also, the artsy folks are needed.. He writes poems, paints, writes, directs etc.. He's one of them.. Cater to druggies? You betcha.. He wants everybody to think he's a stoner.. He's not.. Just part of the act.. And finally, middle America likes the guy.. He's handsome, edgy and cool in the eyes guys and gals, young and old..

    Who is the guy if he isn't a jewish, gay, stoned, brainiac, artsy type?? Shockingly, Franco is mainly a regular guy who is very talented, smart and has a ridiculous work ethic.. He never gets in trouble because he never goes out.. So he invents a dark side of himself.. He's always working and that's who James Franco is - a workaholic and generally a good guy who is probably more conservative than liberal... And he's a winner in Hollywood.. Game, set, match Franco.. Well played Mr. Franco..

    Posted by: Sarge | Dec 19, 2012 3:34:52 PM


  13. MATEOM is just another careless STD infected gaybe whom no one in his right mind (if informed and not suicidal) would ever bed...shudder. :

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 19, 2012 4:10:25 PM


  14. Am I the only one who was interested in that and then spoiled by the fact that there were tons of women around, watching everything? lol

    And yes, there is a point where it's just porn.

    Posted by: Cecilfirefox | Dec 19, 2012 4:19:43 PM


  15. Actually, Uffda, I've NEVER had an STD of any kind. Which isn't so surprising, considering all of my sexual partners have been respectful enough to wear a condom. Not sure what a gaybe is.

    Then again, I'm not terribly offended by what you say, as you're just a lame troll. But it's hilarious that you think you can hurt my feelings.

    Posted by: MateoM | Dec 19, 2012 4:30:12 PM


  16. Yes, Sarge, and just the sight of Franco brings you close to "busting a nut". It's so apparent in your comment.


    I've gotta' crush on you, sweetie pie....

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 19, 2012 4:34:35 PM


  17. @Bollux - I guess you don't know how it feels to watch friend after friend die.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Dec 19, 2012 5:30:28 PM


  18. I've become jaded about James Franco's antics. I used to wonder what he was getting at but now I just don't care.

    @MateoM, Syphilis and gonorrhea are both diseases that left many of their sufferers with grotesque lesions, dying in agony. It was only cured by antibiotics that became widely available about 50 years ago. (And they're becoming more resistant to treatment.) And the victims were mainly straight.

    So what lesson should we draw from that? That heterosexuality is a bad thing?

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 19, 2012 6:11:08 PM


  19. That look well- interesting. Sexy and dangerous-now if only Franco would make an actual gay film.

    Posted by: jaragon | Dec 19, 2012 6:20:53 PM


  20. For those commenting on the 1970s, keep in mind that this was in the middle of the "Sexual Revolution", which started in the 1960s, and was anything but a "gay only" affair. It coincided with the start of the gay-rights movement, but was not the result of the gay-rights movement.

    Some of the behavior seen in the 1970s was the result of repression suddenly being lifted. A simple model is the pressure cooker - get it going and then suddenly open the lid, and you'll get the idea. Or try the following video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3nWo59iBg8 (the use of a steam locomotive for dialog that would not get by the censors was priceless, not to mention the choice of background music).


    Posted by: BIll | Dec 19, 2012 7:52:05 PM


  21. The argument of "Queer" v. "Normative" is as old as ancient Greece. Leather bars, just like the Baths- pre-AIDS- were very hot sex dens. Franco's flirtation may be historical voyeurism, but it's so damaging to how far we've come- and how close we are...

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 19, 2012 8:19:43 PM


  22. @OS2GUY: No way, dude. Ever since he played Sean Penn's lover in "Harvey Milk," James Franco has been a strong positive voice for us both in film and out. We need more like him.

    Posted by: Jack | Dec 19, 2012 8:42:12 PM


  23. MATEOM, I know you are but what am I?

    Thanks for assuring me that you have had no STD's.:)

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 19, 2012 9:27:17 PM


  24. The only way that I can make sense of the fact that nearly every role he plays is a gay man is that he must, in fact, be gay in real life. Nothing else computes.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 19, 2012 11:52:21 PM


  25. "Cruising" and Larry Kramer's novel "Faggots" were the perfect slice-of-life preserves of the decade before the onset of AIDS. They are absolutely worth revisiting again and again.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Dec 20, 2012 1:14:30 AM


  26. « | 1 2 3 »

Post a comment







Trending


« «Neil Patrick Harris Seduces Consenting Puppets: VIDEO« «