TIQFF Taiwan Premiere of “I am Michael” Starring James Franco
Taiwan Premiere of “I am Michael” – Account of Vocal LGBT Rights Activist Turned Anti-Gay Christian Pastor
James Franco stirs more debate and speculation on his sexual identity with new drama “I Am Michael” – Justin Kelly’s directorial debut which premiered at Sundance Festival earlier this year. In the film, James Franco paints a complex portrait of a man who went from an avid gay rights activist and an inspirational figure for other LGBTs to a Christian pastor who renounced and denounced homosexuality over the course of only a few years. Michael Glatze, whose real life story inspired the drama, has expressed his approval of the movie and his admiration of James’ performance. The controversial yet critically acclaimed film will have its Taiwan Premiere at the 2nd Taiwan International Queer Film Festival in October.
Charlie Carver on the Threesome Scene with James Franco and Zachary Quinto: “HOT AS HELL”
Zachary Quinto, one of the most desirable actors who is also publicly gay, plays Franco’s boyfriend in the film and takes part in a steamy threesome with Charlie Carver. When asked about what it was like shooting a scene with the two, Carver went surprisingly candid and said: “Hot as hell.” Later he clarified that he was talking about the weather. The most buzzed-about scene was “hot as hell” since the air conditioning was broken and they were shooting in an attic in the middle of summer. Kelly recalled the most memorable moment as Franco licking Carver’s armpit. Franco joked that Kelly was playing “too safe” and “lame” claiming that he could not even remember what happened, attributing the short-term memory loss to him going harder than everyone else in the scene.
More than Just a “Gay Turned Straight” Movie
The drama is inspired by a 2011 New York Times Magazine article by Benoit Denizet-Lewis titled “My Ex-Gay Friend”. Gus Van Sant, director of “Good Will Hunting” and “Milk” (who also bagged Palm d’or and Best Director at Cannes with “Elephant)” shared the article with Justin Kelly who became instantly hooked. Kelly’s execution maintains a neutral objectivity, focusing the narrative solely on Michael’s experience through the transformation journey. He shares that this is not just a story about a “man’s switch from gay to straight”. “I Am Michael” also explores and examines the power of religion and beliefs, one’s desire to belong and to what extent a person will to find a sense of belonging.