I didn’t have a chance to see James Franco’s film “Interior. Leather Bar” at Sundance, but I am certainly intrigued by the idea behind it. Co-directed with Travis Mathews, it uses the footage that was deleted from William Friedkin’s infamous movie “Cruising” to confront the hypocrisy that exists in the way gay sex and straight sex are portrayed onscreen and in the media.
Heady stuff, but it’s pretty clear at this point that Franco loves confrontational art, and that one of the things he is intrigued by is the exploration of human sexuality on the fringe of the mainstream.
Today, Franco is speaking out about the Australian censorship of another movie by Mathews called “I Want Your Love.” The unrated film features a six-minute unsimulated sex scene between two men, and it has now been banned from screening at festivals in Australia, which sent Franco running for YouTube so he could weigh in on the decision. I like that Franco seems unconcerned about the giant mega-budget Disney family movie he’s got coming out on Friday. There are plenty of movie stars who would steer clear of any controversy, especially one about explicit gay sex, during the week of release, but not Franco.
Here’s the video that Franco posted on YouTube today about the decision:
I brought up the idea that he wasn’t exactly protecting the brand when we sat down recently to talk about “Oz The Great and Powerful,” and it was pretty clear that it’s just not something he thinks about. His art is his art, and some of it is mainstream and some of it is resolutely independent, and he doesn’t really see any conflict between those two things.
We also talked about reuniting with Sam Raimi, his “Spider-Man” director, and how he feels when acting with greenscreen environments and computer-generated characters. Even in the midst of the press junket, Franco was still having fun, inviting student filmmakers into the room so they could film the behind-the-scenes version of a press junket that you guys never see. I hope that whatever happens with Franco in the future, he continues to follow his own particular muse, because it’s wildly entertaining to watch.
“Oz The Great And Powerful” opens this Friday in theaters everywhere.