Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Reading: James Franco is Franco

james_franco_image On a recent podcast, Andrew, Rob and I discussed James Franco’s return to General Hospital.  Franco plays an psychopathic performance artist named – you guessed it (or maybe you didn’t) – Franco.  We blathered about how weird this, and the rest of Franco’s career, is.  Little did we know it was only going to get weirder.

The New Yorker recently covered “Soap at MOCA,” a performance art piece created by Franco (the actor, I think).  “Soap at MOCA” was essentially a live taping of General Hospital but with a few twists.  Franco (the character, I’m pretty sure) was running his own show called “Francophrenia,” in which he recreated several of his projects from the world of General Hospital.  It made the opposite of sense, writes the New  Yorker’s Dana Goodyear:

“There was no one who was not confused. The suspiciously handsome men wearing tool belts and white gloves and T-shirts that said “Museum Staff” who were hanging abstract paintings on the Port Charles sets: actors. Two “General Hospital” publicists stood by. "Is this art Franco art or ‘G.H.’ art?" one asked the other.”

It only gets more labyrinthine from there.  Franco (the actor, I believe) tells Goodyear that this is sort of a follow-up to Erased James Franco, a film of Franco (the actor still) recreates performances from his own feature films.  He then had the idea of making a movie in which he plays a soap opera actor.  But why stop there?  Why not just be a soap opera actor on General Hospital?  When asked how he chose his character, Franco (hopefully the actor) said, “I wanted their full treatment, so all I said was that I wanted to be an artist and I wanted my character to be crazy.”

Franco, by deliberately creating your own Being John Malkovich pseudo-reality, you’ve proven that you’re already a crazy artist.

Big thanks to reader, frequent podcast listener, radio personality, and all-around friend of the site Colleen for the link.