I ponder when people of my generation went ultra-conservative? Perhaps, it was in our 30s, hence, the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Why I say that? After watching the trailer of the docu-movie, Interior.Leather Bar (2013), that “may” see its days here in major cities, I thought that three bold movies came out in the early 80’s were so risqué that anything made after either were dialed down or maintained as the “funny character”:my boy-friend is a bit gauche, wink!
Although controversial they were and received numerous protests, Cruising (1980), Making Love (1982), Personal Best (1982) marked the era that studios were still taking risks, and at the same time gay and lesbian movement was marching louder, bolder and more political. While gays and lesbians were fighting for their rights and demanding equality in their civil lives, HIV/AIDS had become the tsunami not only overran and dampened the momentum, but also it indiscriminately wiped out a good portion of these people who once marched to the beat of equal gay and lesbian rights. Perhaps, this explains the toned down 90’s with its much somber gay and lesbian films like Philadelphia (1993), And the Band Played On (1993) and the Hours (2002). However, as a comic relief for a decade of lost, sorrow and pain, we did have In and Out (1997).
Interestingly, the rebuilt was through TV shows Will and Grace (1998-2006), The L Word (2004-2009),.. which perhaps was more effective, and it allowed for the fence-sitting-closeted-ones their private viewing…with their spouse and kids?! perhaps. (Imagine a married guy lining up alone to see BearCity2: the Proposal (2012), we are still not there yet, unfortunately).
Today with cable channels, anything goes: Spartacus (2010,2011), True Blood (2008 – ),…and regarding movies, they have had gone mature and family oriented The Kids Are All Right (2010), A Single Man (2009), Far From Heaven (2002),…
In 2013, we will have Interior.Leather Bar, co-directed by brain-iac James Franco, and Travis Mathews. I don’t know how this will be marketed, nor being distributed, but I am sure looking forward to see this. WATCH!
In order to avoid an X rating, 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was rumored to be cut and destroyed from the 1980 film, “Cruising.” Inspired by the mythology of this controversial film, filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews collaborate to imagine their own lost footage.
Amid the backdrop of a frenzied film set actor Val Lauren reluctantly agrees to take the lead in the film. Val is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes on and “off camera,” as unsimulated gay sex happens around him. The film itself is constructed as a play with boundaries remaining queer in subject and form. As much a film about filmmaking as it is about an exploration of sexual and creative freedom, “Interior. Leather Bar.” defies easy categorization.