Sal | Review

No Salutation: Franco Resurrects Tragic Mineo to Aimless Effect

Like The Broken Tower, which documents the tragic end of poet Hart Crane, James Franco’s second directorial effort from 2011, Sal, also happens to resurrect an artistic queer figure from the past, this time Oscar-nominated actor Sal Mineo, murdered outside his West Hollywood apartment back in 1976. While the film is finally being granted a theatrical release, Franco has gone on to debut a slew of other directorial efforts, expanding his desire to provoke, titillate and subvert notions of queerness in a broader cultural discourse with items like his co-directed Interior. Leather Bar, and even adapting notable literary works, like Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God. Considering an equally heavy acting schedule, Franco’s output is quantitatively impressive, but quality thus becomes the lack in his exploration of the last hours of the life of Sal Mineo.
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