By Eva Medoff, July 15th, 2010
If James Franco has been surfing a wave towards a mixture of high brow avant garde figure and A list movie star, then Howl is the climax of his transformation. Franco plays Allen Ginsberg in a movie based on the poet’s most famous work and the beat writers surrounding it. It’s the 50s, and the social tides are just beginning to churn: the Howl is deemed profane and a lawsuit seeks to block its distribution. Jon Hamm takes a turn as Ginsberg’s defense attorney Jake Ehrlich, while Mary Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels and David Strathairn play the squares (the latter two appear in Good Night and Good Luck, a movie that shares the same beautiful black and white cinematography). If it feels a bit similar to Milk, that’s because it is: the filmmaker’s directed the documentary on which that film was based. Excited yet?
By Eva Medoff, April 22nd, 2010
James Franco has been trying to infiltrate highbrow art circles for some time now. First it was the English degree from Columbia (although whether he learned anything or slept through it all is debatable), then the “performance art” stint on “General Hospital” and lastly the foray into creative writing with Esquire (and a rumored book deal). Now, he’s sat down with the grand dame of performance art herself, Marina Abramović, in this new promo video for Abramović’s ongoing MoMA exhibit, “The Artist is Present.”