WATCH: Joshua Tree, 1951 Doesn’t Whitewash James Dean’s Sexuality

Matthew Mishory’s Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean presents the actor before he became the toast of Hollywood with films like Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. Focusing on Dean’s experiences as a rising star in Los Angeles, the film’s dreamlike vignettes blend real and fictional elements to get at the core of this brief but indelible icon. And it doesn’t shy away from Dean’s alleged bisexuality. Heck the thing looks like a mash-up between a Gus Van Sant movie and a Bruce Weber commercial!

Though a distribution deal hasn’t been announced, Joshua Tree has some good pedigree: James Preston (ABC’s The Gates) plays Dean, with The L Word‘s Erin Daniels and out Queer as Folk actor Robert Gant in supporting roles, costumes by Emmy nominee Rob Saduski and a musical score by Steven Severin (of Siouxsie and the Banshees fame).

Look for it in theaters later this year.

Photo: Danny Madden