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Interior. Leather Bar.


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • Release Date: April 15 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00I4CWIVU

Product Description

Bonus Features Include Interviews with James Franco and Travis Matthews Not Rated RT 85 Mins Audio DD2 Dolby Digital Stereo UPC Code 712267331925

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Pratt on April 19 2014
Format: DVD
William Friedkin's 1980 film Cruising, starring Al Pacino as a cop that goes undercover to find a killer in New York's gay S&M leather bar scene, ruffled so many feathers in Hollywood he had no choice but to remove 40 minutes from his film in order to appease the MPAA and avoid an X rating. This footage has never seen the light of day, leaving many to speculate about the alleged scenes of graphic gay sex that had to be axed from the final release.

Thanks to James Franco – who, for reasons unknown, has become obsessed with all things gay-related of late—and a partnership with queer filmmaker Travis Mathews, the 40 minutes of missing material have been reimagined in a project entitled Interior. Leather Bar.

Straight macho actor Val Lauren is cast to play the part of Pacino, and a slew of men—supposedly both straight and gay—are brought in to fill out the roles of the stereotypical gays at the S&M club (men in chaps, harnesses and jockstraps).

In what can be described as an intellectual exploration of social norms and preconceptions of gay sex, Franco spends a portion of the film prodding Lauren to see just how comfortable he is, or isn't, with the notion of queer coitus. Franco describes gay sex as "beautiful and attractive," which leads Lauren (conveniently) to point out that Franco is involved with Disney—having just finished shooting Oz: The Great and Powerful—and that it's incredulous that he would want to do a project at the opposite end of the spectrum. In typical Franco fashion, he doesn't care and wants to push the boundaries of Hollywood in an oblique, but titillating, manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MR CHARLES POPE JR on May 25 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After so much build-up this is a total bore. Most of the 'movie' is a documentary about preparing for it with James Franco and his cronies discussing this and that --- and Franco more or less finally coming out as gay. The actual bar scenes could have been out-takes from any of the Babylon scenes from QUEER AS FOLK a few years ago.
Why bother?
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By Blood TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 2 2014
Format: DVD
Though its style may turn some people off, I found this movie to be incredibly interesting. As a straight person, this movie really makes you think about the way people are brought up to think about gay people and their lifestyles. Beautifully shot and unflinchingly raw, this is a fantastic documentary.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth O. Connor on May 31 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a documentary about re-staging the missing bar scenes from the movie "Cruisin'. " At best it's interesting to see who is cast as whom, other than that it's an okay way to fill in an hour on a rainy day. Pick it up if it's deeply discounted.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 80 reviews
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
An Intriguing Experiment That Introduces Bold Ideas, But Lacks Much Depth March 11 2014
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
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. Of course, no one knows what was cut from the movie exactly but Franco and team speculate that it was pretty graphic stuff. If, however, this was actually the topic they were interested in pursuing, I find it incredibly telling that few of the actors have any idea that it is what they've shown up to do. Wouldn't that have been, perhaps, a topic of discussion in the casting process? In fact, during the shoot, it is revealed that many have never even heard of Cruising even on the day of filming! Mind you, these aren't professional actors. They are paid to stand around a bar and simulate sexual acts. There is no dialogue or plot to speak of, the scenes are just a combination of pantomimed sexual exploits intercut with actual coupling.

Thesis Number One: Franco says that sex should be better represented in cinema as opposed to the gratuitous violence and bloodshed that people find quite palatable. I don't disagree. It's a fair point and one I stand behind. But as what he is shooting isn't a real movie in any context (but only sex), it feels a bit hollow. These sequences could never make it into a mainstream movie, of any sexual proclivity, because they lack context more than anything.

Thesis Number Two: Instead of giving lip service to "Cruising," the movie should just have called itself a bold sexual experiment. Bringing various actors together with differing sexual identities, the exploration of what makes them uncomfortable (either in viewing or participating) is a primary thesis. I think the discussion, again, could be a fascinating one. But once more, they aren't playing real characters in a real movie. They've shown up for one day of filming to be (essentially) extras. It's hard to get into the heart of this weighty discussion within this framework, although it is a solid idea.

Both of these ideas are explored somewhat, but lack any particular depth. The movie, instead, centers around actor Val Lauren. Lauren is a straight married friend of Franco who has worked on other projects with the filmmaker in both theater and on film. The story (and much of it seems written) revolves around this being an eye-opening experiment for the actor, a chance to push his personal boundaries for the sake of art. But again, he isn't inhabiting a complex character on a movie shoot, he's a day player in some provocative footage. He gets conveniently timed phone calls to question the integrity of the project (with much hatred), so that he can wrestle with his decisions. In the end, it's only manufactured drama for the sake of having any real type of drama.

"Interior. Leather Bar." is what it is. It suggests some meaningful topics, but remains (at the end of the day) an idea that never fully comes to fruition. With a bit more focus on what it was trying to do or say, it might well have been more successful. KGHarris, 3/14.
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
What was this? April 15 2014
By A guy in the plains - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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".
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Not at all what I expected April 21 2014
By Hypno - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Stunted Message Movie April 18 2014
By FilmFoodie - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
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. In the final act, when the 4th wall is shattered by the lead reading the script, which is describing what he is doing at that moment while taking a break from the set, I also heard, "everything you've just seen was scripted. This is a narrative drama message piece. So, ha HA, just kidding." The emotional propulsion and the message, slow and superficial as it is, is undone.
There are a few short mock scenes from Cruising put together that are so inauthentic they destabilize the foundation the film is built on. Whether there's something that advances anything in this, I can not tell you. Straight people are uncomfortable with gay sex? Uhm, well yeah. Most everyone is uncomfortable engaging in intimacy of a sort to which they are not inclined. So, that can't be it; can it? Really, a lot that the movie demonstrates is one big Duh! There is stigma about sex and alternative sexuality. But the film doesn't forward the argument in the way it portends; and frankly it's boring. Uptick to 2 stars for an original idea, down-tick to 2 stars for an unecessary fake out and making a potentially interesting conversation boring and stagnant.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not what you want it to be June 4 2014
By IntoMoYouKnow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
No James Franco getting naked. No 40 minutes of sex scenes from Cruising, maybe 5 at most. The co-director guy takes himself waaaay toooo seriously trying to make sense of the chaos, while James stands around amused at the circus, occasionally shooting simulated or real sex from far away, while trying to placate the "lead actor" guy Val that this film won't ruin his career. If you'd heard of Val before, you know a lot more than me because he's a total unknown to me.

It becomes clear this is just another art prank for Franco, who says he just wants to understand why he's had bad reactions to gay things in the past. It's as if he thought we would want to watch him go through this intellectual exercise, masqueraded as a porn shoot. So the joke's on you if you watch it.

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