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James Franco 'Interior. Leather Bar': 'Cruising' 'Lost' Gay Sex Footage

Interior Leather Bar James Franco Val LaurenInterior. Leather Bar: Self-identified straight men dealing with gay sex while recreating Cruising 'lost footage' (image: James Franco and Travis Mathews' Interior. Leather Bar, with Val Lauren)

[See previous post: James Franco Gay Sex Movie 'Replaces' Banned Gay Sex Movie at Australian Film Festival.] William Friedkin's widely lambasted Cruising, which many at the time perceived as anti-gay, starred Al Pacino as a New York cop investigating a gruesome murder in the dark, seedy, perverted, and all-too-alluring Gay Underworld. Having to “pass for” gay, Pacino's cop ends up catching the gay virus (not AIDS; just plain kinky and potentially deadly gayness) after hanging out at some S&M clubs.

Now, according to William Friedkin, among whose credits are the Oscar-winning The French Connection and the blockbuster The Exorcist, 40 minutes of gay sex scenes (“that material showed the most graphic homosexuality”) were excised from Cruising so the Lorimar / United Artists release wouldn't be slapped with an X rating. Be that as it may – hey, the story could have been about 400 minutes of “graphic homosexuality” ending up on the cutting-room floor – actor-director James Franco and director Travis Mathews have joined forces on Interior. Leather Bar to (sorta) bring those scenes back to life.

Interior. Leather Bar: 'sexual and creative freedom'

According to the film's website, in Interior. Leather Bar “actor Val Lauren [who plays Sal Mineo in James Franco's Sal] 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's website adds that Interior. Leather Bar explores “sexual and creative freedom” and that it “defies easy categorization” – this, right after referring to Interior. Leather Bar as “queer in subject and form.”

Queer is right. At one point in the Interior. Leather Bar trailer, Val Lauren asks (while James Franco looks on): “Is this something that we as the artists working on it are going to manipulate, to make a certain point, or do you just want it to be what is?"

Interior. Leather Bar, which seems to be a faux documentary featuring explicit man-on-man blow jobs to titillate the Australian Classification Board censors, has already been shown at Sundance and Berlin. Besides its planned Melbourne Queer Film Festival screening, Interior. Leather Bar will also be presented tomorrow at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

In addition to Val Lauren and James Franco, Interior. Leather Bar also features Christian Patrick, Travis Mathews, Brenden Gregory, and Bradley Roberge.

James Franco movies

Also in keeping with the kinky sex theme, James Franco produced Kink, a Christina Voros-directed documentary about the fetish website Kink.com.

In the last 13 years, James Franco has been featured in more than 60 films. Besides the current Oz the Great and Powerful, and the Spider-Man movies, Franco's credits include the box office hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the Julia Roberts star vehicle Eat Pray Love, and Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, which earned him a Best Actor Academy Award nomination.

Upcoming James Franco movies include Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried as former porn star Linda Lovelace (and in which Franco plays Hugh Hefner); Child of God, which Franco himself directed; and Gary Fleder's action thriller Homefront, featuring Jason Statham, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and New Moon's Rachelle Lefevre.

Val Lauren Interior. Leather Bar photo: RabbitBandini Productions.

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2 Comments to James Franco 'Interior. Leather Bar': 'Cruising' 'Lost' Gay Sex Footage

  1. Andre

    @Liz

    Poor indeed. What an embarrassing mistake!
    Thanks for the correction. The text has been amended.

  2. Liz

    The poor old Australian Film Commission wasn't a censor, it funded films. You're thinking of ACMA, or the ABA, or one of the other classification orgs.