James Franco the “astonishingly prolific polymath” and actor has unleashed an impressively massive body work, wildly varying in mediums and quality. Now, Franco’s directorial body of work is invading Manhattan’s IFC Center for their “FrancoFest,” March 5th – March 13 and he will be appearing in person eight times.
It is a lot of Franco.
Screening at IFC Center’s FrancoFest are Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours starring Franco, “Franco’s darkly comic directorial debut follows a struggling writer trying to contend with an ape living in his NYC apartment” The Ape, “Franco’s bold adaptation of William Faulkner’s classic ‘unfilmable’ novel” As I Lay Dying, “Franco’s lush black-and-white portrait of the brief and tumultuous life of 20th-century poet Hart Crane” The Broken Tower, Ian Olds and “Franco’s pseudo-doc goes behind-the-scenes of the actor’s infamous stint on soap opera General Hospital” Francophrenia (Or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where The Baby Is), Franco’s Good Time Max, Howl starring Franco as Allen Ginsberg, Franco’s Idaho and other shorts, My Own Private Idaho the Gus Van Sant original and Franco’s River Phoenix outtakes re-edit My Own Private River, “William Friedkin’s 1980 ode to fisting, faggotry, and flash cuts” Cruising, Franco’s Cruising-inspired Leather Bar, Franco’s Sal, Spring Breakers starting Franco, and “FrancoShorts” Franco’s short film collection plus “gallery work and music videos.”
That time with him at the New Museum was fun, so I am withholding the five tons of contradictory, preemptive opinions and swallow the excited, chemically volatile clumps of bile back down my esophagus. Instead, I just booked a midnight show ticket for Leather Bar.
Inspired by the mythology surrounding the highly controversial 1980 film, Cruising, starring Al Pacino – in which, 40 minutes of sexually explicit material was forced to be cut out – filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews set out to re-imagine the lost footage. Assembling a mix of gay and straight men, including Val Lauren (The Salton Sea, Live from Baghdad) in the lead role, the result is a provocative exploration of the importance of the radical and transgressive in society and the value of engaging with the unfamiliar.