The 1980 film Cruising, starring Al Pacino as an undercover cop investigating a murder in the New York City gay, leather, bar scene, was plagued with controversy, and its director was forced by the Motion Picture Association of America to cut 40 minutes of sexually explicit material. Those 40 minutes have never been screened publicly. Filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews set out to reimagine what might have transpired in those lost scenes in this intriguing film about the making of a film.
The cameras roll as Franco assembles a mix of gay and straight men, including the likeable Val Lauren in the lead role. What emerges is a portrait of the fascinating dynamics that drive the filmmakers’ need to challenge normalcy, the interplay of celebrity and experimentation, and the dilemma faced by actors struggling to reconcile who they are with the idea of performing in a sexually explicit, gay, S&M film. The result is a provocative exploration of the importance of the radical and transgressive in society and the value of engaging with things that scare us.
- S. F.
About the Directors
James Franco’s life has become multifaceted as he pursues his interests as a student, artist, writer, director, and actor. He earned accolades for his performances in James Dean, Milk, and 127 Hours and also starred in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the Spider-Man trilogy. Additionally, Franco wrote and directed The Broken Tower and directed Sal and Saturday Night. Upcoming films as an actor are Oz: The Great and Powerful, Child of God, As I Lay Dying, The End of the World, and Homefront.
Travis Mathews is an award-winning filmmaker whose movies focus on gay men and intimacy. By combining a master’s degree in counseling psychology with a knowledge of documentary film, Mathews takes a thoughtful and naturalistic approach to filmmaking while maintaining a sense of humor in his work.
Cast and Credits
Directors: Travis Mathews, James Franco
Screenwriter: Travis Mathews
Executive Producer: Rabbit Bandini Productions
Producers: James Franco, Iris Torres, Michael Lannan
Cinematographer: Keith Wilson
Editor, Music Supervisor: Travis Mathews
Costume Designer: Lane Stewart
Principal Cast: Val Lauren, James Franco, Travis Mathews, Christian Patrick, Brenden Gregory
Contact: Jeffrey Winter / firstname.lastname@example.org / (323) 207-8321