Travis Mathews and gay sex fanatic James Franco's hour-long recreation of the hardcore footage legendarily excised from William Friedkin’s 1980 gay classic Cruising, the art film Interior. Leather Bar. just premiered at Sundance Film Festival — and the critics who've seen it sure have lots to say.
Read 10 of the most scathing, insightful, amusing, and ridiculous quotes from the reviews.
Variety: "Proving that a movie shot over a day and a half can premiere at Sundance if it has James Franco's name attached, Interior. Leather Bar. is an infuriating stunt that misrepresents itself as Franco and co-director Travis Mathews' reimagining of the 40 minutes William Friedkin claims he was forced to cut from Cruising to get an R rating."
The Hollywood Reporter: "(Speaking of Francophiles, let's get it out of the way: Franco himself participates in no makeouts — gay or straight, explicit or chaste — here. He doesn't even take his shirt off.)"
The Guardian: "Like many of his pet projects, it's mercifully short (albeit, a drawn-out 60 minutes) and odd."
Badass Digest: "Interior. Leather Bar. is sixty minutes long, fifty of which consist of Franco and friends dithering over the gay sex we're supposedly going to see. It's worth noting how much conversation they can fit into one hour. They talk and they talk and they talk, all toward nothing."
New York Post: "Despite its billing, there’s only 10 minutes or so of footage that takes place inside the bar, and if you’re looking for gay porn, you’ll find it here. Hillshire Farms really missed a sponsorship opportunity. I mean, I haven’t seen so many gigantic organs since I visited the Wurlitzer factory."
Smells Like Screen Spirit: "We are shown some randy content, but nothing too crazy."
Indiewire: "'You're starring in a Disney movie, for chrissakes!' Lauren spouts, in one of a few moments where Franco's upcoming role in Oz, the Great and Powerful comes into play. 'That's what's giving it half its power,' Franco replies with a smirk. But is it? Interior. Leather Bar. largely works not because of Franco's involvement but in spite of it."
Ion Cinema: "While Matthews and Franco probably would have gotten more shocking and less contrived material from the yearly International Mister Leather ceremony that takes place annually in Chicago, in world of conservative and constrained expression, the importance of projects like this become ever more important in their ability to achieve visibility."
Cinema Beach: "Does the presentation of actual depictions of sex, whether gay or straight, diminish or add value to the art? Sadly, that is a question the film fails to answer, but it will undoubtedly be on the minds of audiences as they exit this movie."
Film.com: "It’s difficult to see this finding a wide audience."