James Franco has been busy.
His film Interior. Leather Bar. premieres this week at the Sundance Film Festival, and let’s just say — this ain’t no Tristan + Isolde.
According to his exclusive interview with EW.com:
The gay S&M film reimagining 40 minutes of footage rumored to be taken out of William Friedkin’s 1980 drama Cruising blurs the boundaries between observer and observed, truth and fiction, delight and pain.
Franco commented on the, let’s say, the outside-the-box plotline by saying:
“Every f—king love story is a dude that wants to be with a girl, and the only way they’re going to end up happy is if they walk off into the sunset together,” he says. “I’m f—king sick of that s—t. So if there’s a way for me to just break that up in my own mind, I’m all for it. … Sex should be a storytelling tool, but we’re so f—king scared of it.”
I was surprised at the vehemence in the actor’s voice and body language during this interview. Is this the same guy who looked like he smoked an entire pipe full of cannabis before bombing his 2011 Oscar-hosting gig? He’s certainly got a bee in his bonnet about this subject matter. Head over to EW.com and watch the video highlighting the making of Interior. Leather Bar. Any readers who felt cheated reading the 50 Shades trilogy will revel in what I am guessing to be very graphic, explicit, disciplined sex scenes.
And that’s not all.
Franco is also at Sundance to support the documentary he produced called Kink, which documents the Californian BDSM company Kink.com. I’m sensing a theme here.
All jokes aside, I do agree with Franco to some extent. I’m not a fan of BDSM-type stories (I’m reluctantly trying to finish 50 Shades of Grey). It’s true that Hollywood is obsessed with sex, yet very few American films actually show anything on screen. Compared to European films, you very rarely see any male or female genitalia or bare breasts — instead, all our actresses have perfectly veneered-smiles, porn-star hair, and perfectly tanned skin that lacks any body hair. Moreover, most of our romantic films have the same vanilla storyline: “guy wants girl, guy pursues girl, guy gets girl.” It’s not a very realistic representation of intimacy and sex, and in our current sexual landscape, it’s not representative of a large majority of relationships. It seems that this very perverse, yet protected culture that we live in — one that simultaneously shows us everything and yet nothing — poses the very question on Franco’s mind:
“What are we afraid of?”