By Sahil Patel
Vimeo has picked up exclusive rights to digitally sell two new films: “Interior Leather Bar,” which is directed by and stars James Franco; and “Bettie Page Reveals All,” a documentary about and narrated by the former sex icon.
Available today via the company’s Vimeo On Demand offering, “Interior Leather Bar” is from Franco and filmmaker Travis Mathews and is directly inspired by the 1980 Al Pacino film “Cruising,” which was rumored to have cut 40 minutes of gay S&M footage out of the final reel in order to avoid an X rating. “Interior Leather Bar” tells the fictional story of lead actor Val Lauren who is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes and “off camera” as unsimulated gay sex occurs around him. According to the filmmakers, the film is constructed “as a play with boundaries remaining queer in subject and form.”
The other film, “Bettie Page Reveals All,” also takes a look at sexual expression and freedom. In the documentary, the former pinup model recounts her rise in the 1950s, and how it influenced the 1960s sexual revolution and modern fashion and pop culture. Available for pre-order today, the film will be released on April 22.
In March, Vimeo pledged to spend $10 million to help independent filmmakers market and distribute their projects exclusively (for a period of time) on Vimeo, as well as bring exclusive titles to its on-demand offering.
Later that month, it picked up “The Anonymous People” as part of its Audience Development Fund for successfully crowdfunded film projects.