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.
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April 15th, 2014
It is a busy week on the home market with five films that either opened at least semi-wide or expanded semi-wide. However, unlike last week, there's no monster hit like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug leading the way. In fact, most of the semi-wide or wide releases on this week's list were critical and box office disappointments. Only Philomena did well with critics. Fortunately, it did well enough that it is a contender for Pick of the Week without even considering the extras on the DVD or Blu-ray. There are a few other new releases that are noteworthy, but most of them are catalog Blu-ray releases. These include Touch of Evil on Blu-ray and Double Indemnity on Blu-ray. In the end, I went with Touch of Evil, but I literally had to roll a dice to decide.
March 12th, 2014
The Grand Budapest Hotel led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $202,792 in four theaters. This is the best per theater average this year and the best per theater average since Frozen's debut last year. It is also the best per theater average for a live action film of all time, beating The Master's old record of $147,262 in five theaters set in 2012. The film will clearly expand wide enough to earn a significant measure of mainstream success, if it doesn't expand truly wide. Particle Fever was next with an average of $14,323 in three theaters over the weekend, while its total since Wednesday is $49,869. The only wide release to top $10,000 on the per theater chart was 300: Rise of an Empire, which earned an average of $13,006. Interior. Leather Bar. was a surprise entrant in the $10,000 club earning $10,902 in one theater.
January 3rd, 2014
In order to qualify for the Oscars, a film has to open before the end of the year, so every year the weekend before New Years Eve has a few films trying to get into theaters just under the wire. This also means that the weekend after New Years Eve is a terrible time to release a movie in limited release. Art house theaters are loaded with Oscar hopefuls and it is very unlikely any of the new releases have the reviews to compete with those movies. That is certainly the case this year.
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