As legend has it, nearly 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was removed and destroyed from the film Cruising in order to avoid an X rating. This footage has never been seen publically, and some question its very existence. Inspired by this rumor, James Franco and Trvis Mathews collaborated to create their own interpretation of the famous lost footage from Cruising.
This docu-drama follows a set actor named Val Lauren, who finds himself in challenging and uncomfortable situations throughout the filming. Filled with unsimulated and unfiltered gay sex, the film pushes the boundaries of creativity and queerness.
Val’s character takes on a reconceived persona of Al Pacino’s character in the original film, however Interior. Leather Bar works very hard to remain original, only nodding to the 1980 film, Cruising. Surrounding the character, viewers experience the film making process, as directors and producers themselves appear on screen to guide some of the most controversial scenes – allowing the audience to question which parts of the film are “real” and which are “set up.”
Initially intended to be a short art film, Interior. Leather Bar evolves to become an introspective of 1980’s NYC gay leather culture and the challenges of film making during an era where gay is taboo and HIV is on the rise.
“A sly conceptual coup d’art and a deeply sincere exploration of masculinity and its discontents, with a little hot sex thrown in. ”
— Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“A Rubik’s Cube of a movie, an intriguing, layered puzzle that isn’t easily solved.”
— David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
“Interior. Leather Bar’s intriguing curiosity provides ample food for thought, in part because it’s the rare film that devotes much of its running time to its own principals discussing what, if anything, the film ultimately means.”
— Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve
Did You Know?
Shot and edited on a shoe string budget, Travis Mathews and James Franco had only 2 days to shoot the entire film. Desiring extra coverage, Franco demanded that a minimum of 3 cameras be rolling at all times to provide maximum coverage, no matter what was happening on set, real or staged. Mathews then spent the following month editing for nearly 12 hours a day. To avoid distraction he moved into his boyhood bedroom, giving his mother the first look at any edited scenes on Interior. Leather Bar. Review our Gay Themed Documentaries Here
All pictures reproduced courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures