In 1980, William Friedkin and Al Pacino went ‘Cruising’ for a critical bruising

James Franco and Travis Mathews' Interior. Leather Bar. is inspired by the movie-biz legend that director William Friedkin had to cut 40 minutes from his 1980 film Cruising to avoid the studio taboo of an X rating. Some readers might ask, what was Cruising? The backstory of this dour psychological thriller is more interesting than the movie itself. Read more [...]

James Franco’s ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ is a commentary on something or other

Co-directed by James Franco and Travis Mathews, Interior. Leather Bar. includes a few explicit scenes of gay sex, but it’s really the intellectual wankery on display that defines the movie. This is the term paper that Franco never got around to writing at UCLA, Columbia or NYU. Read more [...]

In honor of Record Store Day: ‘I Need That Record!’, a documentary for and about vinyl lovers

A skeptic might watch the opening minutes of I Need That Record! and recoil at the parade of middle-aged cranks, grumbling about how things used to be so much better. But the interviewees in this documentary mostly prove eloquent and clear-eyed about why indie record stores became an endangered species — and just what the culture at large is at risk of losing if the indie stores disappear completely. Read more [...]

Werner Herzog’s ‘Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans’: Crazy in the best possible way

This Friday at the Aero in Santa Monica, with Nicolas Cage and Werner Herzog in person: Nicolas Cage is compulsively watchable in Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. His line readings are often bonkers, and I mean that as the highest possible praise. Read more [...]