James Franco defends gay movie banned from Australian film festival

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James Franco is asking the Australian Classification Board to lift the ban on “I Want Your Love,” a film barred from festivals for “explicit sexual activity” relating to gay sex.

Directed by Franco’s friend Travis Matthews, “I Want Your Love” has been banned from premiering at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and several other festivals in Australia.

The Board feels the film is inappropriate because it shows an un-staged six-minute sex scene between two men. Franco feels the ban is a kind of discrimination, and that if Matthews had done a violent film, for example, the Board wouldn’t have a problem with it. 

Franco posted a video on YouTube addressing the issue (view below). 

Sex is such a big part of our lives, even if it isn’t part of yours, that’s a conscious choice,” he says. “To keep it from films that want to explore it as a form of human behavior is very short-sighted and, I think, very hypocritical.”

Franco says he had wanted to work with Matthews because he used “sex in a very sophisticated way” in films like “I Want Your Love” but “because films have been banned because of sex, sex in films hasn’t had a chance to grow and become a sophisticated story device.”

Franco has collaborated with Matthews before. They worked on a film together called “Interior. Leather Bar” that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film is about Franco and Matthews, who play themselves, as they try to put together all the deleted footage from the controversial 1980’s film “Cruising.”  

429Magazine

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