Hot Sheet: Interior Decoration

The top 10 entertainment and events highlights this week range from the proper Downton Abbey to James Franco's very improper Interior. Leather Bar.



1. FILM: Interior. Leather Bar.
If you didn’t already love James Franco — the actor, director, art student, and LGBT advocate — this would be the movie that would change that. Codirected by Franco and Travis Mathews, Interior. Leather Bar. has a compelling setup: The director of the 1980 film Cruising, in which Al Pacino starred as an undercover cop investigating a murder in New York's gay leather scene, was forced by the MPAA to cut 40 minutes of sexually explicit material in order to avoid an X rating. It was long rumored that this footage included graphic gay sex scenes, including one in which Pacino himself was at least a watcher, if not a doer. Those 40 minutes have never been seen, so Franco and Mathews set out to reimagine what might have happened in those lost scenes. But this movie is not 40 minutes of porn. Instead, it’s an hour-long film about the making of a film, with a mix of straight and gay actors and crew exploring the dynamics of what it means to perform in a sexually explicit gay film about BDSM. Listening to lead Val Lauren (the Pacino character) talk on the phone about Franco’s theory about challenging social sexual norms we all grew up with, and hearing his friend ask how Lauren, who is straight, will feel when Franco’s experimentation leads to anal sex, is real, raw, and provocative. It’s an immensely watchable hybrid film that’s both radically transgressive and enjoyable to ponder for hours afterward. Interior. Leather Bar. (alongside a screening of CruisingFriday and Saturday) opens at the Cinefamily’s Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles this weekend. Watch the trailer below. —Daniel Reynolds

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