'Interior. Leather Bar' to Replace Travis Matthews’ Banned Gay Sex Film at Australian Festival
The scheduling of Matthews' collaboration with James Franco came after the Oz star pleaded with censors to reconsider their ruling.
SYDNEY -- James Franco and Travis Matthews’ Interior. Leather Bar will screen at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival next week after Australian censors banned Matthews I Want Your Love from screening at festivals in the country.
Film Festivals in Australia normally get an exemption from classification of films but the Australian Classification Board earlier this month refused exemption for I Want Your Love. The MQFF was informed that even if they paid for it to be classified it would be denoted as X 18+ - the most restrictive rating for a film in this country - and not able to be shown.
The reason given for the ban was because the film contains explicit sex scenes without the narrative context to support the sex scenes.
Franco said on hearing of the ban: “This just is such a disappointment to me and seems really silly. The reason I approached Travis to make a film (Interior. Leather Bar) was because of his work in I Want Your Love,” he said.
“It’s very short-sighted and very hypocritical... Frankly, adults should be able to choose. They’re not going in blind. I don’t know why in this day and age a film that is using sex – not for titillation but to talk about being human – is being banned. It’s just embarrassing. I hope you’ll re-consider”.
They then offered the festival Interior. Leather Bar, which has been an audience favorite at the Berlin and Sundance film festivals
“It's a huge coup for us to be able to screen James and Travis' brand new film. Given the recent banning of I Want your Love, a film about censorship couldn't be more topical,” said Melbourne Queer Film Festival director Lisa Daniel.