Under this headline, Manohla Dargis in the NY Times praises Travis Mathews and James Franco’s film.
Independent Voices Drown Out the Buzz: Highlights of the Sundance Film Festival
“One of the sharpest, best surprises of the festival, which ends Sunday, “Interior. Leather Bar.” is a serious yet playful hourlong deconstruction of the representation of homosexuality as viewed through the prism of “Cruising,”William Friedkin’s 1980 film about an undercover cop, played by a supremely jittery Al Pacino, searching for a killer of gay men. “Interior,” directed by Mr. Franco and Travis Mathews, uses as its conceptual jumping-off point a lost 40-minute segment of “Cruising” set in a gay leather bar that Mr. Friedkin has said he had to cut to avoid an X rating. “Interior” primarily turns on the on-set experience of Val Lauren, an actor who appears as himself and as an idea of Mr. Pacino’s, while performing in a re-creation of the missing “Cruising” material.”
Congrats to them and all who worked on the movie.
This year, because it was the year of the curate’s egg, I’m making up my own rules. In that spirit I get to pick whole movies or just the parts that are worth the list. Also these are the films I liked and admired most, not necessarily ‘the best’.
I couldn’t face a Tarantino movie at Xmas so haven’t seen Django Unchained.
I couldn’t face two and a half hours of singing French drama peasants so I haven’t seen The Glums Movie.
I haven’t seen The Master because… sigh.
I haven’t seen Seven Psychopaths, despite being a fan of Martin McDonagh, and should be beaten with sticks and I meant to see it and I will and /whine.
Safety Not Guaranteed charmer of the year.
Beasts of the Southern Wild truly imaginative.
The Cabin in the Woods yes, yes, I know… but yes!
Moonrise Kingdom only the parts with no adults… apart from Bruce Willis, surprisingly.
Your Sister’s Sister just really solid indie writing, directing and acting.
Robot and Frank mawkish and contrived but it made me smile. And Frank Langella.
Lawless because sometimes implausible rednecks are necessary.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower all the bits I didn’t hate, not the bits I did.
Looper for JGL’s fake chin. And my hero Rian Johnson can do no wrong.
Argo old fashioned in the best way.
Lincoln apart from the opening mawkish nonsense with the soldiers, and I’m pretending it ended where the story should have, with Lincoln walking into the darkness before the assassination.
Hmm… where were all the foreign films I loved this year?
Bottom Ten Films
Prometheus… That about covers it.
And the 2012 ‘Julian’s childhood fantasy worlds revisited, without total ruination award’ goes to…
Dredd for keeping his helmet on.
Some nice news this morning, my first experiment in Science Fiction screenwriting, a little script called Cutterjunk, about a girl at the bottom of the galactic food chain who is determined to get out and move up made the quarterfinal of this year’s Just Effing Entertain Me Screenwriting Competition. I am especially pleased as I entered a very early draft to meet their deadline and didn’t hold out that much hope.
For those of you who are interested, here’s the link.
I’m flattered that the judges saw some promise through the roughness!
I just had the confirmation from Saeed Shafa at the Tiburon Film Festival. Joe McBride, Sam Hamm and I will be speaking, taking questions and signing books at 1pm on Saturday April 21st at the Bay Motel, Sausalito. The provisional title for our panel is: “Screenwriting at a Crossroads: Today’s Options for Aspiring Screenwriters”. I’ll post and changes and official publicity materials as they emerge. Should be fun, so spread the word.
For those who want the Syd but can’t get to the Syd, here’s some online Syd that will cost you a certain amount of what the young people called ‘cash money’ many years ago. Courtesy of The Writers Store:
Exciting news from across the pond today, Travis Matthews‘ feature, I Want Your Love will open the very Fringe! festival in London on Thursday April 12th. I had the privilege to work on the project as a script consultant and I can tell you that the film will be a real splash. It’s honest, frank, sexy, well acted and a brave experiment in independent filmmaking. Matthews is rightly spoken of in the same breath as Andrew Haigh and John Cameron Mitchell as an important member of the newest new wave of gay filmmakers.
Here’s the blurb from Fringe!
THURSDAY 12th APRIL 9pm
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE
Tickets: Hackney Picturehouse. £8
‘I Want Your Love’ is an unapologetically voyeuristic insight into the sexual and emotional interactions of a young man, Jesse, and his extended group of friends, as he struggles to take responsibility for himself after years of treading water in freewheeling San Francisco.
In his first feature length film, Travis Mathews builds on the experience of making his ground breaking ‘in Their Room’ series of shorts, which laid bare the intimate and erotic lives and obsessions of young gay men in Berlin and San Francisco.
Funded by porn company, Naked Sword, ‘I Want Your Love’ contains explicit sex scenes, but it’s so much more, it deals with the complexities of contemporary gay identity with candor and empathy. The sex is real but so are the actors’ emotions. Mathews effortlessly mixes the erotic with believability, no easy task. But its Mathews’s solid yet informal script and screenplay and sensitive direction that marks ‘I Want Your Love’ out as an important moment in queer cinema. Opening the door for a new wave of gay filmmaking, sharing small yet poignant personal stories.
Much like Andrew Haigh’s ’Weekend’ Mathews’s ‘I Want Your Love’ explores the possibilities for queer cinema to deal with the subtleties of gay life. His bold unapologetically realistic portrayals of gay sex are a refreshingly honest reflection of the contemporary gay experience. Coupled with beautiful but low key cinematography and a rocking soundtrack.
Out There magazine is all about bring you the best of global queer culture we are therefore very proud to present Travis Mathews. A ‘one-to-watch’ film maker that we feel represents a very welcome breath of fresh air, and will continue to grow and tell our stories with honesty and wit.
‘I Want Your Love is an intense, intimate film with a fantastic soundtrack and stunning visual beauty that will haunt you long after the final scene.’ -Scott Heim author of “Mysterious Skin”
‘Intimate, sexy and unflinchingly honest, I Want Your Love is a bold film with rare insight into the uncensored lives of a generation of gay men’ – Andrew Haigh, Director of Weekend
I just had this welcome piece of news from a colleague at Santa Clara. I hope the students down the peninsula find it useful and wish them well in all their script projects!
This week I will have the distinct pleasure of acting as interlocutor for my friend and colleague Professor Joseph McBride at the San Francisco State University Poetry Center (Humanities 512). Joe will be speaking about his excellent new book, Writing in Pictures: Screenwriting Made (Mostly) Painless, recently published by Vintage in the USA.
I had the privilege of being asked to read an advance copy of Joe’s book for review and I found it to be full of wit, wisdom, insight and the kind of detailed knowledge of a subject that is born out of long professional experience. I very much look forward to discussing it with Joe and his audience in a couple of days.