On the first day of shooting, James Franco, David Shields and Caleb Powell throw out the script when a real life argument breaks out between the three of them about what can and can't be ... See full summary »
Based on the classic novel by William Faulkner, first published in 1930, "As I Lay Dying" is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her last wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.
Tim Blake Nelson,
In order to avoid an X rating, 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was rumored to be cut and destroyed from Cruising (1980). 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. Written by
Dicks are out. Balls are out. People are paddling each other in the ass. There are bruises. There are fucking welts. Sucking. Fucking. Armpits. Balls. Assholes. Everything is out, dude.
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As many reviewers have noted, this movie does not aim to capture the 40 suppressed minutes of "Cruising," even though it was billed as such. It's not clear what's behind that mismatch. Did the movie's intent shift while it was being made? Whatever the reason, it's hard to understand who benefited from the misleading marketing of the movie.
We learn what the movie's about as we watch. James Franco explains his desire to overturn cultural conventions against explicit sex, which he finds odd because sex is constantly in the forefront of our consciousness. Porn, however socially unacceptable, is popular.
Val Lauren plays a straight man in two senses: he's a straight guy in a gay movie, plus his questions give James Franco an opening to explain the purpose behind the film. As Val notes toward the end, the explicitness was there all right, but it wasn't nearly as big a deal as our minds had conjured it up to be.
Whether or not this is someone's cup of tea, Franco reveals a refreshing degree of honesty and understanding. After all, most of the characters in the movie, in comments by them or by their family about the goings- on, are dubious to negative about the merits. That's what most of us probably think as well. The film is supposed to challenge that thinking.
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