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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd


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Entries in James Franco (36)


James Franco ♥ Brad Renfro

Whose name would you carve into your arm?

I ask because James Franco carved Brad Renfro's into his... at least photographically. (Is it real? You tell us the next time you see James Franco naked.) This carving was part of the latest issue of The Thing, a mysterious quarterly periodical that comes in the shape of a "useful" object.

I'm not sure how useful a small mirror with "Brad Forever" scrawled in lipstick by Franco's own hand is, but it was fun to open and who am I to judge obsessive actorly devotions?  I have yet to carve an actresses name onto my body but never say never...

<--- I'm pretending that this photo to your left is the exact moment when Franco actually wrote on my copy.

This is only the freshest example that Franco is basically the Lady Gaga of movies: always throwing his eccentric persona at you in ways you're not expecting, even though you're expecting personal eccentricities.

Between this and that very public My Own Private Idaho obsession, we're realizing that James Franco is not an actressexual at all (our kind of people) but the other kind: an actor who obsesses over other male actors.

Or maybe he just really loves The Client (1994) and we just don't know about his Susan Sarandon fetish yet?

What do you suppose his favorite Brad Renfro movie is: Bully? The Client? Apt Pupil?

What's yours?



Sal (Mineo) & Val (Lauren)

You may have heard the news earlier today that James Franco, Man of One Thousand Projects (half of which we assume will never see the light of day), has found the actor for his Sal Mineo biopic and it's Val Lauren. A lot of people were saying "who?" 'round the net but I'm here to tell you that he's a real talent, not just a lucky "unknown".

Sal Mineo and Val Lauren who may play him in a biopic

I'm not sure how old Lauren is -- IMDb doesn't offer up much info -- and the picture above is three years old (I wanted them both in hats. Sue me). Sal Mineo was most famous in his early 20s and was murdered at only 37 years of age and for all we know Franco's vision might have to do with the later years of Mineo's life. But fine acting is the most crucial element of biopic success anyway and acting chops have very little to do with age. Starpower is the other necessary Biopic element. By starpower I don't mean "Famous Person" but screen presence, the ability to hold a camera in an iron grip. If you don't have it and you're playing someone with it the disconnect is great. 

I have only ever seen Val Lauren in one picture, back in 2008, but he had it.

The film was called True Love, a contemporary ensemble romantic drama that, as far as I know, was never released.  I thought that he was mesmerizing. At the time I wrote.

Its title make it sound just stiflingly clichéd. But it isn't and it works. The characters were compellingly flawed and in not immediately recognizable ways, either. Best in show is Val Lauren who plays an unceasingly aggressive self-made man. If this film gets distribution I expect it'll do major things for his heretofore minor career (lot of TV guest spots and the like).

I was wondering when he'd blow up but he never did. Maybe now?

Here's the trailer to True Love. He's the one you see wearing the cute hats, the one you hear monologuing about Disney, and the one you glimpse thrusting in a sex scene and smashing up defenseless cars.



Post-Crawford, Post-Host, Post-Cotillard

Madame LeFigaro [in French] an article about how many French stars are showing up in English language movies, the Post-Cotillard wave (though this has been going on for decades).
NY Times no word on Mad Men Season 5 and why.
Shiantology Shia Labeouf on the set of John Hillcoat's depression era drama The Wettest Country. Lots of stars in this one actually but I guess they weren't on the call sheet this day?
Kenneth in the (212)
Winslet, Wood, Winningham (and more) at the Mildred Pierce premiere.
<---Stirred Straight Up... has a collection of amusing, curious, vivid quotes about Joan Crawford from other actresses. (God, I should've thought to do some sort of Joan celebration before the revisioning of Mildred Pierce came out). This one from notsilent icon Louise Brooks is fascinating:

To me, Joan Crawford's screen portrayals are all one: a series of transparencies through which she projects her daydream –- herself –- a wonderful abused kid. On the screen, every ladylike effort is stretched by the memory of self-abasement; the salt of every tear is the salt of self-pity.


Retro Movie Review has a flash animated showdown about Ken Russell's The Devils. Although the wrong critic wins here because The Devils is brilliant.
My New Plaid Pants is hosting a very busy "Special People Day" TODAY in honor of Welcome to the Dollhouse's 15th anniversary.
Mister Hipp has a hilarious Admiral Ackbar illustration
The Playlist The low budget 1990 film version of Captain America is going to be available for mass consumption soon.

have you been reading about this online bitch-fight James Franco vs. Bruce Vilanch about the Oscar night performance failure? Vilanch bitches that Franco was not available until Thursday and wasn't committed enough and Franco basically implies that Vilanche's jokes aren't funny -- and even disses Bette Midler in the process (uncalled for. After this and his dissing of The Social Network I'm starting to lose faith that Mr. Franco knows what he's talking about.). Gold Derby weirdly sides with Franco stating that there's no reason he needed to be in town longer than he was  (!!! say what now? a live multi million dollar production and it's OK that he's not in town until three days prior?) but if you ask me everyone is at fault, Vilanch because the jokes aren't particularly strong but especially Franco since everyone and their Aunt Martha understands how difficult the Oscar hosting gig is. If you have 7,001 things going on maybe you shouldn't commit to doing a 7,002nd half assed and for a big stack of money? But maybe that's because I share this flaw (the overbooking not the big stacks of money). But when a huge one night a year historical event is counting on you and paying you, maybe it deserves your full attention? Just a thought. The Wrap says they've since made up.


Curio: Gus Van Sant, Painter

Alexa here. Lately James Franco has gotten a lot of press for his artistic aspirations, earning multiple degrees while he exhibits his artwork in Berlin, seemingly hosting the Oscars as an afterthought.  So also getting attention is "Unfinished", an exhibition of film and visual art by Franco and Gus Van Sant.  Most of the attention is focused on Franco, and what the show reveals about him. (For the exhibit he reedited footage from My Own Private Idaho, creating a 12-hour-long film titled My Own Private River.)  

But what I find interesting about the show, currently showing at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, is seeing what Gus Van Sant is like as a painter. He studied film and painting at RISD, and was there at the same time as David Byrne (apparently urging Byrne to keep singing).  These watercolor portraits of young men, shown alongside Franco's film, obviously recall Mike and Scott from My Own Private Idaho, and share the film's dreamlike, loose, almost gangly quality.

more paintings after the jump...

Click to read more ...


This & That: Balloon House, Birthday Party, Bookshelf Franco

Refiner 28 James Franco's bookshelf analyzed. Hee.
Crave Pixar's Up (2009) balloon house recreated in real life!
Small World a follow up story to that bit about The King's Speech producer's daughter who dropped the Oscar. This one stars BANKSY.
Rope of Silicon Rememeber that movie that 50 Cent lost all that weight for? I had forgotten all about it, too.
Cinema Blend assembles / decodes all the news and rumors about Stoker which may star the impressive lineup of Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth
Variety on Julie Taymor's possible departure from the Spider-Man Broadway musical and a shutdown for the show itself.
Jacki Beat needs work, gurl! I love that Miz Beat is classy/funny/perverse enough to ask for work on her blog and threaten you with crimes simultaneously. The world needs more dangerous drag queens. I also need work but I have no funny jokes about it. Times is tough.
Movie|Line talks to Jane Eyre star Mia Wasikowska about the book and working with both Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell.

M|L: In terms of your other love interest, you got to reunite with your Defiance co-star Jamie Bell, which was fun for me as a viewer, thinking “Forest wife!” to myself in the theater.
Mia Wasikowska: I know! We’ve already been married in a previous film! It was so much fun — Jamie is one of my favorite people to work with. We had a blast.

Also, I'm not sure how I missed this but here's Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds at La Liz's birthday party last week (you'll remember her actual birthday was Oscar day).

This casts a whole new light on that bit in Carrie's stage show mapping the complex tabloid-ready relationships of Elizabeth Taylor to her parents Eddie and Debbie.


Podcast: The Elephant in the Room

For this final podcast of the 83rd Oscar season, we've misplaced Katey. Oops? Where she go? But Nick, Joe and myself (Nathaniel) are back to close out the season.

We had fun chiming in weekly and after a  break will be back with Off-Season cinematic musings.  While we normally have quite a laugh during these, and there's a fair bit of that againe, we do get a bit serious on a couple of topics. "The End" always brings a smidge more sober take-it-all in perspective.

Topics covered include:

  • Kirk Douglas & Melissa Leo. The early peak.
  • Dressing like a winner / Dressing like a nominee
  • Cate Blanchett, Sharon Stone and other fancy dressers
  • Nobody ever likes the hosts of the Oscar show. But Anne Hathaway & James Franco?
  • Ovearching themes and production confusion: Old or Young?
  • Why no visual gags for non-comedian hosts?
  • Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Natalie Portman speeches
  • Awards Fatigue (and strategies for coping)
  • Next?

Listen in and join in the conversation in the comments.

Podcast: The 83rd Annual Oscars. Season Finale


James & Anne & Mickey & Judy

Editor's note: This is my final Oscar column for Tribeca Film to wrap up awards season. Thanks for your patience. I'd intended to do a lot more right here but I'm in day 3 of flu and about to pass out again. If you're not done talking Oscar night, let me know by commenting. But here it is.

Early on Oscar night, the legendary actor Kirk Douglas took to the stage to present Best Supporting Actress. (Oscar producers wisely throw one of the big awards near the beginning each year lest the least committed viewers click away.) "Spartacus" himself, still an entertainer at 94, didn't make you wait for the envelope reveal for a show—he was hamming it up from his cane-walking entrance to his purposefully distracted, drawn-out announcement of the winner. Before he even got to the nominees, he stopped to joke with the youngest hosts Oscar has ever had, 32-year-old James Franco and 28-year-old Anne Hathaway. To the giggling, girlish Hathaway, he said, "Where were you when I was making movies?"

The irony, if you stop to think about, is that she was around back then. Not “Anne Hathaway,” exactly, mind you, but earlier incarnations of her...

Read the rest at Tribeca Film

Now that the 83rd Oscar dust has settled, how are you feeling about them?