James Franco has been in everything, from his start on “Freaks and Geeks” to the pot-fueled comedy “Pineapple Express”, and the intense drama “127 Hours”. As of late, however, he seems to be known more for seeming a little distant from the Hollywood scene. He’s instead focusing on work behind the camera, and his latest project is actually rather interesting. “Interior. Leather Bar.” is a documentary Franco did with fellow filmmaker Travis Mathews. It follows the two as they set out to reimagine 40 minutes of filming that were lost from the Al Pacino film “Cruising”. That film, starring Pacino as a cop who is investing a serial killer who is killing the gay men of New York. To catch the killer, he goes undercover as a gay man and frequents gay bars and underground clubs. The film had to cut 40 minutes and reshoot some scenes in order to keep the 1980s censors from giving “Cruising” an X rating. Franco and Mathews decided to film what they think may have been included in the original film, something that has never been seen by the public eye. They cast their characters using gay and straight men, as well as themselves, and go full tilt on the scenes. Yep, there is lots of full-frontal male nudity, and simulated sex- this is definitely not something you’d watch with the whole family. It is, however, an interesting look at how these two filmmakers go through the process of deciding on this film, casting, and finally filming, all while searching for artistic ways to get the story out and give a peek at what the cut scenes- which were rumored to be unsimulated S&M sex- may have looked like.
“Interior. Leather Bar.” is actually a good James Franco film. I may forgive him for subjecting us to “Pineapple Express”.
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