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Interior. Leather Bar.

2.6 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by the mythology surrounding the highly controversial 1980 film, Cruising, starring Al Pacino - in which, 40 minutes of sexually explicit material was forced to be cut out - filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews set out to re-imagine the lost footage. Assembling a mix of gay and straight men, including Val Lauren (The Salton Sea, Live from Baghdad) in the lead role, the result is a provocative exploration of the importance of the radical and transgressive in society and the value of engaging with the unfamiliar.

Special Features:
Short Film The Feast of Stephen by James Franco
Short Film In Their Room: SF by Travis Mathews
Interviews with James Franco & Travis Mathews
Original Theatrical Trailer

Review

A truly one-of-a-kind film from James Franco & Co. seriously, intelligently, and movingly addresses sexuality in film. --Film Journal International

A cheerfully unsettling exploration of mainstream representations of male homosexuality. --The Los Angeles Times

One of the sharpest, best surprises of the [2013 Sundance Film] Festival. --The New York Times

Product Details

  • Actors: James Franco, Val Lauren, Travis Matthews, Christian Patrick
  • Directors: James Franco, Travis Matthews
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00I4CWIVU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,403 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 11, 2014
Format: DVD
I love movies and, more than anything, I appreciate those within the Hollywood system who still take chances and push boundaries. There is a certain carefulness and an unfortunate homogeneous quality to the film product released for mass consumption. In many ways, I really respect that James Franco still exhibits an adventurous spirit and parlays his fame into initiating independent side projects that interest him. He does exactly what he wants to do (from an artistic standpoint) and there should be a lot more of that in celebrity culture today! I don't need my celebrity filtered through a gauze of political correctness with a pre-recorded message written by a public relations firm. That being said, I think he's still finding his way as a writer and director but I respect his efforts to explore the film medium. "Interior. Leather Bar." is his latest provocation. Not really a full fledged documentary, the movie explores what happens on the set (it's all apparently done in one day) of an experimental project conceived by Franco and writer/director Travis Mathews.

I am fully prepared to see five star raves that equate "Interior. Leather Bar." to a brilliant social critique. I'm also expecting to see plenty of one star dismissals that call this pointless and even pornographic. I'll just say this. There are some interesting discussion-worthy ideas brought up by the movie, but there is little to no follow-through on examining these notions with any depth.

So, the idea behind "Interior. Leather Bar" is to reconstruct forty minutes of lost footage from William Friedkin's notorious "Cruising." This 1980 film starring Al Pacino was definitely controversial for its day for its rather one sided depiction of a same sex culture.
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This is not a movie but a porn-umentary. Awful; I have seen the original film Cruising and Franco's "film" is a disgrace to claim it was a vision of what the 40 minutes that were cut from the original film would be like. This was more about James Franco getting face time on screen to talk about a vision that was unrealized and pointless. Franco took the character from the film and turned it into a real character, the straight lead actor that resembled a younger Al Pacino that was uncomfortable with what he saw on the set. The lead definitely struggled with being a straight man in a gay film as Al Pacino's character dealt with being a straight man in a gay underworld.

The viewer spends more time watching the filming of what seemed to be 2 scenes. I'm not sure if the two scenes even added up to 40 minutes; no, they didn't.

At one point the "actors" in the film were discussing how sexually charged the film was going to be. Sadly, it was a big flop!

Franco had a great opportunity to make something significant and focused but instead it was an unorganized mess with no vision whatsoever. Do not waste your money purchasing this "film".
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I found this potentially innovative piece an exploitative ruse. Message movies are tricky. It helps if there is a more universal appeal and a clear relatable point of view. It'll help you to know this is a mocumentary; a movie within a movie of sorts that breaks the fourth wall in innovative ways. For me it sets but denies expectations by pretending to be something it's not. When it exposes itself as a ruse the point is nullified. Starting as if a documentary about filming a vision of the scenes deleted from the 1980 film Cruising, I expected the process of recreating the scenes and the final vision rendered. Cruising was a bad Hollywood film from 1980 starring Al Pacino; I didn't go in expecting a titillating experience. I maybe expected some message about ignorance, how far we've come with comparisons using dated standards, something along those lines. But, the film seemed to be exploiting its focus on actors thrown together at the last minute who are about to film gay sex and we were going to watch. I was a bit baffled by that. However, as the film slowly progresses, focus continues on the actors, mostly the lead who is uncomfortable about the project. So, I switch gears thinking I'm watching a doc about the reactions of actors about to make these scenes, an expose on mens' attitudes about gay sex, or unconventional sexuality, or a statement piece about sex as art or the fear of sex in the modern age. (The film focuses solely on the male actors. Attitudes of the crew where the women are don't exist.) The ruse was exposed to me, when on camera, an actor is directed what to say during what was first depicted as a not so interesting candid conversation.Read more ›
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The premise is very interesting; recreate the cut 40 minutes of CRUISING....that was the theory.
The reality is a movie that simply got lost because the vision wasn't strong enough.
They recreate the 40 minutes (which you don't see but small, boring, vanilla clips) and then focus on the straight actor who has to play a gay man...oooohhh, such a challenge! What a stretch!
Throughout the movie, everyone stands around and wonders what their doing....I recommend you don't watch this film or you will wonder why you ever did.
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