Exciting news from the folks at Tribeca Film — look for a November 1st theatrical release of James Franco’s long-awaited Sal (it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in late 2011 — feel free to share any insider gossip on the delayed release down in the comments field).
This meticulously observed study of the last 24 hours in the life of Hollywood screen legend Sal Mineo boasts a bravura performance by Val Lauren (Interior. Leather Bar.) as the openly gay actor who was tragically murdered in 1976.
With last year’s A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951 shining the light on fellow ‘50s icon (and Rebel Without A Cause co-star) James Dean, it’s exciting to see the lesser-known Mineo finally receive his own biopic treatment. With a screenplay by Stacy Miller, the film is adapted from Michael Gregg Michaud’s 2010 Sal Mineo: A Biography.
As the story unfolds, Mineo is on the verge of directing his first film and acting in a stage play in Los Angeles. His boyfriend is coming to visit from New York City. Clearly broke but nonetheless infectiously cheerful, Sal’s day ranges from working out at the gym, notating his film script, talking on the phone with friends. He reminisces about his early days shooting Rebel with Dean, and tools around in his Chevy Malibu puffing away on a Salem. The film’s artfully-crafted minimalist production design evokes a pitch-perfect mid-’70s aesthetic and sustains a creatively suspenseful 85-minute real-life drama.
Gorgeously shot by cinematographer Christina Voros, this latest Franco directorial effort shares the contemplatively-paced style of his other 2011 gay biopic The Broken Tower (about poet Hart Crane) and showcases yet another fascinating gay icon who died too soon.