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5 Things You Need To Know About James Franco's Gay Art Film

The actor is producing and starring in a gay sex, art film called James Franco's Cruising, which will be first seen in installments at an upcoming NYC art show and in full length in early 2013.

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1. It's directed by an avant-garde gay film director


Travis Matthews is an award-winning filmmaker who focuses on the intimacy and relationships of gay men. His previous films include an ongoing web series, In Their Room, and the feature film, I Want Your Love, which is "about gay relationships among a group of San Francisco friends and includes real hardcore sex."

2. It's based on the 1980 thriller, "Cruising," starring Al Pacino


Cruising is a psychological thriller directed by William Friedkin about about a serial killer targeting gay men in the S&M scene. Al Pacino portrays an undercover cop who "cruises" gay bars in search of the killer.

The controversial film originally was slapped with an X rating by the MPAA. After cutting nearly 40 minutes of footage, the movie secured an R rating for a theatrical release.

3. The deleted scenes are the source of the film

Franco couldn't get the rights to remake the original film. Instead, he teamed up with Travis to recreate the 40 minutes of deleted footage, which is said to be scenes of "graphic homosexuality with Pacino watching, and with the intimation that he may have been participating."

4. The film is said to have real sex scenes


(Franco seen shooting an actor on the left and in a club scene on the right.)

"He knew he wanted real gay sex in it," Travis told IndieWire. "His people went looking for a filmmaker who had filmed real gay sex, and I suspect someone who would complement his vision."

The director explains that his previous films (mentioned above) fit the criteria for what the actor was looking for in his version of Cruising.

5. This is not Franco's first experiment with gay-themed material


In addition to producing Cruising, James will play himself alongside Travis who is also playing himself in the film.

The actor previously starred in Milk with Sean Penn (pictured) and Howl. James also directed the gay bio-pic The Broken Tower and released the queer short The Feast of Stephen. He also dressed in drag for the cover of Candy magazine.

While he seems to have a serious and vested interest in gay culture, Queerty asks if he is trying to "champion an underrepresented facet of society or just cashing in on his appeal."