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‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ NSFW Trailer: James Franco Recreates Cut Footage from ‘Cruising’

Interior Leather Bar trailer
RabbitBandini Productions

Among the titles released in the official Sundance line-up recently was this little gem — ‘Interior. Leather Bar,’ a film from and starring James Franco that recreates the 40 minutes of footage excised from William Friedkin’s ‘Cruising.’

For those unaware, director William Friedkin had to cut 40 minutes of footage from his 1980 film ‘Cruising,’ starring Al Pacino as a cop who goes undercover in the underground gay culture of New York City to catch a serial killer with a proclivity for S&M who is murdering gay men.

The footage that was cut involved gay S&M, obviously, and Friedkin had to let it go in order to avoid the dreaded X rating from the MPAA.

James Franco and his filmmaker friend Travis Matthews used this idea as inspiration to create ‘Interior. Leather Bar,’ which imagines what that 40 minutes of cut footage might have been. You can view the official trailer below, following the appropriately meta-sounding synopsis:

Amid the backdrop of a frenzied film set actor Val Lauren reluctantly agrees to take the lead in the film. Val is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes on and “off camera,” as unsimulated gay sex happens around him. The film itself is constructed as a play with boundaries remaining queer in subject and form. As much a film about filmmaking as it is about an exploration of sexual and creative freedom, “Interior. Leather Bar.” defies easy categorization.

And here’s the trailer, which features some great quotes from John Cameron Mitchell (‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch,’ ‘Shortbus’) and Andrew Haigh (‘Weekend’), whose own films have explored similar ideas about the social acceptability of sexuality and identity:

INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. trailer from Travis Mathews on Vimeo.

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