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James Franco Gay Sex Movie 'Replaces' Banned Movie at Australian Film Festival

I Want Your Love gay sex movie Travis MathewsGay sex movie 'replaces' another gay sex movie following Australian censorship incident (photo: Jesse Metzger and Brenden Gregory in Travis Mathews' I Want Your Love)

James Franco and Travis Mathews' sexually charged Interior. Leather Bar, about the recreation of footage purportedly excised from William Friedkin's 1980 cop thriller Cruising, will work as a sort of "replacement movie" for Travis Mathews' own sexually charged I Want Your Love, the story of two gay men (Jesse Metzger and Brenden Gregory) who decide to take their friendship to the sexual level. Although set to be screened at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, I Want Your Love was banned by the Australian Classification Board.

David Cronenberg, the director of Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, A Dangerous Method, and Cosmopolis, and who turns 70 today, once said: "Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion." Now, why have the Australian Classification Board's psychotics chosen to once again make a mockery of democracy?

I Want Your Love: Explicit gay sex scenes 'without the narrative context'

According to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, the Australian Classification Board banned I Want Your Love "because they state that it contains explicit sex scenes without the narrative context to support the sex scenes, and if the film were to be classified it would be given an X rating [pornography] and therefore not available for the sorts of exemption processes the MQFF follow each year. … We're sorry our audience won't be able to make up its own minds about adult content."

Instead of the two screenings of I Want Your Love, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival will present Michael Mayer's Out in the Dark on March 16 and Peaches' Peaches Does Herself on March 22. On March 25, Interior. Leather Bar will be shown as "consolation" for the I Want Your Love ban.

James Franco protests against Australian censorship on YouTube

A blond, colorfully dressed James Franco took to YouTube (see below) to complain about the Australian Classification Board's censorship actions, calling them "such a disappointment to me" and "really silly." Franco then explains that "sex is such a big part of our lives," adding that "it's how [pause] we create children, how we connect."

The Oz the Great and Powerful and Spider-Man star also states that "the reason I approached Travis to make a film [that's Interior. Leather Bar] was because of his work in I Want Your Love … Frankly, adults should be able to choose. They're not going in blind. I don't know why in this day and age a film that is using sex — not for titillation but to talk about being human — is being banned."

And that begs the question: Is it ok to ban a movie that presents sex as "titillation"? What would David Cronenberg say? I should add that I Want Your Love was produced by the gay porn company Naked Sword.

Travis Mathews' feature is an expanded version of his own 2010 short, also titled I Want Your Love and available for viewing online on the adult website xhamster.com. Now, make sure to check out James Franco's anti-censorship speech below.

["Melbourne Queer Film Festival: James Franco-Directed Gay Sex Movie 'Replaces' Banned Gay Sex Movie" continues on the next page. See link below the James Franco video.]

Jesse Metzger and Brenden Gregory in Travis Mathews' I Want Your Love photo: Naked Sword.

Note: Initially, this article erroneously identified the Australian Classification Board (a censorship board) as the Australian Film Commission (a film-funding organization).

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