7 items from 2014
Exterior. The Heternormative: Franco & Matthews’ Experimental Exercise Takes Temperatures
James Franco, already cementing a reputation as one of the most eclectic and noteworthy cinematic commodities as actor, writer and director, teams up with queer filmmaker Travis Matthews for what has to be one of the most excitingly experimental queer cinematic projects of recent memory, Interior. Leather Bar, a re-imagining of the lost 40 minutes from William Friedkin’s infamous and controversial 1980 film, Cruising. Franco, an oddity for his ability to use fame and notoriety as a way to produce and finance challenging projects and bring them to the befuddled mainstream, manages to make this concoction with Matthews intriguing, but it’s too bad that it ultimately feels like a footnote to a much greater discussion. Conversations and impressions reveal that while surface societal mores have undergone an inherent PC facelift, fear and discomfort with the queer community still runs deep.
- Nicholas Bell
Directed by Alain Guiraudie and photographed beautifully by Claire Mathon, Stranger by the Lake has drawn comparisons to the thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock, and rightly so. The atmosphere is one of chilling tension and highly controlled camera work, with point-of-view shots being used to draw attention to the role of both the cruising space and the cinematic space.
For the most part, cruising spots are associated with casual, no-strings-attached sex. They offer a space where the everyday repression of sexuality is ignored; a place where individuals can explore their sexuality without fear of being attacked or shamed by the conservative hetero-normative members of society. Within mainstream cinema, cruising has been vastly underrepresented, with the leather bars of William Friedkin’s Cruising and the problematic space in Shame being two of the better known examples. With Stranger, Guiraudie goes against the darkened interiors of these films, by using picturesque exteriors that display nature and beauty. »
- Griffin Bell
It marks the first time the influential band has played the score live, and the concert will also include 30 minutes of music that wasn’t included in the finished film. Tangerine Dream has never performed before in Scandinavia.
Friedkin’s 12-film retrospective at Cph Pix will also include The Exorcist, Cruising, The French Connection, To Life and Die In La, The Birthday Party, The People Vs. Paul Crump and The Night They Raided Minskys.
The restored Sorcerer premiered in Venice.
Cph Pix runs April 3-16 and will screen 150 features. »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Wet Hot French Summer: Guiraudie’s Bold, Scintillating New Film
Idiosyncratic filmmaker Alain Guiraudie is set to take the art house by storm with his bold, unsettling, and provocative new film, Stranger By the Lake. Already infamous after its Cannes premiere for its graphic and blatantly nonchalant depictions of gay sex, Guiraudie may be one of the few voices to tread bravely in the footsteps of Derek Jarman with this latest film, transcending polite labels like homoeroticism for an honest, introspective, and even morbid portrait of normative tendencies in the sexual lives of gay men. Perhaps most astoundingly, he manages to create a non-judgmental, even moving portrayal of the search for acceptance, love, and creature comfort over the course of one sun baked summer on the gay side of the beach—albeit it one darkly foreboding one.
We first see a handful of cars parked lazily within a secluded wooded area, »
- Nicholas Bell
In 1980, the MPAA forced William Friedkin to cut out forty minutes of his gay thriller, Cruising. They had deemed the footage pornographic and insisted he remove it if he wanted an R rating for the movie. The material was given to folks at United Talent Agency, who destroyed it, allegedly because it featured the film’s main character (played by Al Pacino) engaging in sexual activity with other men.Cruising was released over thirty years ago. »
So let's clear up a few misconceptions about this film—and of course there are misconceptions, it's a James Franco project. Firstly, "Interior. Leather Bar" is not a recreation/reimagining of the "censored," never-shown 40 minutes from William Friedkin's "Cruising," nor even footage inspired by that missing footage. Instead it's a semi-scripted, hour-long documentary about the production of that reimagined footage, in which much less of the actual recreated footage appears than the stories around its making, the concept behind it and the utterly self-conscious, self-referential approach. Hope you're still with us? Secondly, while Franco is credited throughout with being the guy who came up with the "Cruising" angle, it quickly becomes apparent that this film ends up being less an homage to an existing film than, like many other Franco projects, an examination of the creative act and a meditation on the nature of his own personal brand of celebrity, »
- Jessica Kiang
William Friedkin’s “Cruising” has invited scrutiny and speculation throughout its life: During the shooting of the thriller — which starred Al Pacino as a straight NYPD cop who goes undercover in the East Village S&M scene to find a killer in the gay community — gay activists loudly protested, taking to the streets for the first time to picket the limited images of the Lgbt community being offered in mainstream media. Once the movie came out, it stirred up a bit of controversy before disappointing at the box office; years later, gay academics, film critics and artists of various stripes. »
- Alonso Duralde
7 items from 2014
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