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James Franco Condemns Australian Censors for Banning Film Because of Gay Sex: VIDEO


Last month I reported that Australian censors had banned filmmaker Travis Mathews' film I Want Your Love because of its explicit scenes of gay male sex. Mathews film was scheduled for a tour of LGBT film festivals around Australia in cluding the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Sydney's Queer Screen, and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival.

The Age reported:

"Melbourne Queer Film Festival director Lisa Daniel says that in her 15 years at the festival, I Want Your Love is the first film that has been refused an exemption. It has been seen in many festivals around the world, and its distributors have told her this is the first time it has been banned. Mathews is a well-known filmmaker, and the decision is an embarrassment for Australia, she says."

Mathews is also James Franco's collaborator on the upcoming film Interior. Leather Bar inspired by William Friedkin's iconic film Cruising. Now, Franco is speaking out in a new video against the Australian censorship.

Says Franco:

"Frankly, adults should be able to choose. They're not going in blind. I don't know why in this day and age something like this, a film that is using sex not for titillation but to talk about being human, is being banned. It's just embarrassing."


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  1. I'm really sick of "edgy" filmmakers trying to pass porn scenes off as art. They should have the balls to call their sex flicks what they are. I remember when I was fool enough to go see "Shortbus" - take away the sex, and there is absolutely nothing to recommend that movie.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Mar 4, 2013 1:27:37 PM

  2. _Shortbus_ was genius filmmaking.

    Posted by: Rey | Mar 4, 2013 1:41:46 PM

  3. Shortbus was a cute movie. A comedy with a warm hippie vibe.
    Sex scenes (real or "acted")are a gimmick like musicals or car chases.

    Posted by: no-no | Mar 4, 2013 1:47:01 PM

  4. Hey Stuffed,

    I guess cutting the rape scenes from Precious would have made it a better movie.....

    Posted by: Garrison | Mar 4, 2013 2:01:56 PM

  5. I don't agree with censorship either, but I saw "I Want Your Love," and it's definitely a porn movie. I have nothing against that - I love porn as much as the next person - and I do find the idea of pornographic art to be interesting and in many ways hotter than standard porn, but it was definitely a porno.

    That being said, I wish the guy who made it had chosen better looking guys. The whole hipster thing is a bit of a turnoff for me.

    Posted by: AJD | Mar 4, 2013 2:28:24 PM

  6. Well said. By the way, JF looks good even in that shirt.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 4, 2013 2:30:13 PM

  7. I like "I want your love", and I think it's more of an pornographic art film than an usual porno. OTOH, I personally detest James Franco and his continental ego. Well, if he supports the film and helps to get some publicity, then...whatever works, works.

    Posted by: jeremyrain | Mar 4, 2013 2:41:35 PM

  8. showing sex in a film is only "shocking" to puritanical ninnies who would still be shocked by sex. It aint "shock value" to those who have actual sex lives.

    My Mum loved Shortbus. At first I was floored by that, then I remembered "Oh yeah, she lived through the 60s. My generation didn't invent any of this."

    everyone should see "this film is not yet rated" - the galling practices of ratings boards need to be exposed and done away with.

    gratuitous violence? a-ok. tits? ok. frontal male nudity, homosexual affection, or sex? BAN IT! CENSOR IT! It'll HARM EVERYONE!

    no, it won't.

    and dont' get me started on editing down sexual content so that a film can get a lower-rating, so that younger people can see it. RIGHT> rather than make a film for adults, you worry about "what if kids see it?", and then edit out a few seconds so that...MORE kids can see it?

    in Canada, an R-rating means nobody under 18 can see the film, even with a parent or guardian.
    Pg. Pg-13. 14A. 18A. R.

    it's amazing that we're still in a largely-global culture that treats violence as acceptable entertainment and views sex as a dangerous thing we all need to be shielded from.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 4, 2013 2:42:07 PM

  9. I haven't seen "I want your Love"; but I have seen "Shortbus" and I thought it was excellent and poignant....and so many haunting themes.
    I loved the New York background in "Shortbus" but it made me glad I live in the mountains.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 4, 2013 2:46:19 PM

  10. It is the most amazing article ever read on this earth. Guess what!!! Today for the first time I read your article and in one shot I liked your article and the way you write

    Posted by: 2003 Honda Civic Headlights | Mar 4, 2013 3:05:58 PM

  11. I just watched the 14 minute clip of "I Want Your Love" on the official website and it's 2 minutes of acting and 12 minutes of "artistically" filmed pornography. The two characters are engaged in oral sex, rim jobs, and anal intercourse. The scene ends with the characters ejaculating while being penetrated during anal sex. There's no difference between that scene and any scene at Falcon Studios in terms of sex acts.

    I understand the director may be attempting to include the sex acts to tell a story, but, that doesn't preclude the fact for at least 12 minutes of the movie, it's porn that's being filmed.

    Posted by: Bryant | Mar 4, 2013 3:08:41 PM

  12. remember when Mel Gibson tried to pass of pornography as "Art" when he made The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre?

    or does pornography only get called pornography when it's showing/exploiting "sex"?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 4, 2013 3:17:38 PM

  13. @little kiwi

    well, the "porno" part of the word actually refers to prostitution (the word pornography specifically referred to the various ex art and sex toys that were found when Pompeii was excavated) but there are a lot of things that get called "porn" nowadays becuase of a certain "addictive" affect that happens.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 4, 2013 7:16:03 PM

  14. Australia has some odd rules concerning porn. There are overlapping laws that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but for the most part it makes printed porn or video porn hard to obtain. They've made several attempts to ban online porn too. The history here has a lot to do with the way the Anglican church helped to control the prisons and the desire to keep prisoners in check even after their sentences were over (if they ever ended). There is still a lot cultural conservatism in Australia.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 4, 2013 7:28:36 PM

  15. I saw the film as part of a festival. Afterwards, one of the speakers was the head of Naked Sword. His studio bankrolled the film and it was made clear during the discussion that this would not have happened without the sexual content. Having said that, the film can best be labeled as "semi-porn." The actors were playing themselves and were not professional porn actors, though the sex was indeed explicit. The film did try to tell a serious story but I agree with the friend I went with: The sex actually distracted from the narrative. All in all the movie was merely so-so, a mediocre art film. I don't think adults should be prevented from seeing it if they wish to but they won't get (you should pardon the expression) a lot of bang for their buck.

    Posted by: Hal W Lanse | Mar 4, 2013 8:29:42 PM

  16. "Continental Ego"? WTH is that supposed to imply? To me it says that the person that would use such a phrase is victim to a absurdly arrogant puritanical sensibility. Those that would justify censorship of all things sexual, because of their limited and narrow-minded self validating concepts of moral rectitude. You might have a issue with how the script plays out, fine. Yet the second skin comes on the same old backwards American prudishness trumps any other thought. Europeans are comfortable with their skin, and sex in general, so I fail to see that THEY are the ones with the problem. Those that go screaming "Save the Children", seem to want their Grandmother to feel safe too, as if her 1950's sensibilities held the secret to enlightened civilization. I can't help but think that a adult in the 21st century, with all our advances, should be able to handle f*cking, just as easily as massacre on the Big screen, WITHOUT someone telling them whats right and wrong all the time. Geesh...

    Posted by: Booka | Mar 4, 2013 8:31:18 PM

  17. I think children should be shielded from violence and sex in movies. Both have the potential to twist young minds.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 4, 2013 11:43:43 PM

  18. @ Andrew
    WTF are you talking about you idiot. This film isn't for children.

    Posted by: TV Fanatic | Mar 5, 2013 4:53:48 AM

  19. stUFFED Animal is a bat sh-t crazy RELIGIOUS fanatic. Stuffed animal, your religion and Jesus are all made up bull sh-t. Go stuff THAT animal you idiot.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 5, 2013 4:56:08 AM

  20. I was led to believe that "DownUnder" was a modern society and folks were somewhat intellectual thinkers ....

    Posted by: MarkBoston | Apr 29, 2013 9:10:51 PM

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