Interior. Leather Bar., The Lifeguard

Without much sleep, I woke up and headed to the SLC Library to see two films before my evening shift. At noon, I saw Interior. Leather Bar. Directed by James Franco. “To avoid an X rating, it was rumored that 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was cut from the controversial 1980 film Cruising. Filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews reimagine what was in the lost footage.” The film was actually a documentary about making the 40 minutes, instead of actually doing it. The struggles of the actors, and defining the reason why Franco was so passionate about this project. It’s all about heteronormativity. It was everything I’ve already learned at liberal arts school, but I was so happy they made the film. Why is the MPAA and society okay with showing buildings blown up and the graphic death of individuals, but gay sex is not accepted? Why is heterosexual sex accepted, but gay sex is not? James Franco tries to understand why he was brought up also feeling that way and is partly making the movie to help himself in that sense. An actor mentioned that it wasn’t appropriate for someone who acts in Disney films to make this film, but he thinks that makes it better. I loved this film… Until I found out that it wasn’t a documentary. It was all scripted. The film would have had more heart if it was genuine conversations and feelings and not something previously written for the actors to recite. Christian Patrick, a porn star who was one of the film’s actors, held the Q&A. It was a refreshing to hear him talk openly about sexuality, but I was still disappointed with the mockumentary style of the film. It also would have been more interesting to listen to answers from the filmmakers. The next film I saw was The Lifeguard: “A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager.” Kristen Bell is the star of this drama. It was a good film and I was happy to see a female filmmaker, Lucy Garcia, at the Q&A. She both wrote and directed the film. Leigh, the main character, is unhappy with her life in New York, so she comes back home. It’s a relatable film for people who don’t know what they want to do with their lives. She begins hanging out with high school kids, mostly because of her job, but really because that’s who she relates to the most. She fucks up her friends’ lives along the way, but mostly her own by beginning a relationship with a 16 year old boy. Like every other Sundance film, graphic sex encompasses this film. The Leigh character is 29, by the way. Kristen Bell has been going to its screenings in Park City, so I was a little disappointed that she did not come to the SLC screening. After the screening, I worked my shift. It MIGHT be time to mention that my coworker at the box office is the worst human being on the planet. Unless you really enjoy someone being really offensive and rude and thinking it’s funny, you probably wouldn’t like him either. By the end of my shift, I couldn’t tell if I was more excited to see some films in Park City tomorrow, or just excited not to work with him. Either way, I went to bed immediately because I needed to wake up at 5:30am to get to Park City.

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