I’ve been doing some thinking about (gasp!) James Franco as a lightly complex way of easing back into writing after my blog hiatus. I’ll use him as a jumping off point. Although, gathering from the responses from many of my artist friends when I mention his name it seems as thought they would prefer a jumping off point as well, perhaps off a bridge. So, to kick off some serious blogging in 2011 I begin here, or there, or maybe everywhere.
On top of wearing an array of wigs to the Sundance Film Festival for his screening of “Three’s Company: The Drama” Franco is now slated to teach a course on himself at Columbia College Hollywood called “Master Class: Editing James Franco…with James Franco,” where students works to create 30 minute documentaries on Franco. Apparently, he is also keen to TA a course at Yale as well, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate, will co-host the Oscars and is traveling the solo exhibition “Dangerous Book Four Boys” to Peres Projects in Berlin beginning in February. Not to mention, teaming up with performance artist Kalup Linzy on co-projects including albums, films and live performances. This all comes post solo exhibition at Clocktower Gallery in New York City last summer, the releases of Howl, 127 Hours and The Green Hornet all in 2010 and a forty-one episode stint on General Hospital that landed him in many homes across America. Essentially, if you didn’t know Franco before chances are you do now.
My interest does not reside in loving or hating Franco, because frankly (no pun intended) I really don’t know how I feel about him, but rather in trying to extract a point of interest from his vastly prolific cacophony of projects I've found myself suspiciously intrigued by him. Perhaps that is what is so interesting, the fact that he interests me. I mean who doesn’t want to be struck by curiosity in a field they love, he just happened to step into mine along the way so now I am being dragged inquisitively throughout the rest of his oeuvre.
Sometimes I wonder if it is all an elaborate performance. One that could culminate in Franco creating his own documentary of the documentaries made by his students. Or maybe I am reading into it all a bit too much and he was simply bored at the moment with acting and wanted to try his hand at a few other disciplines of which his star status afforded him the necessary access. Either way, it is a healthy interest folks and even one that has quite possibly spurred a renewed interest in collaborative models. I surely won’t be stalking his movie sets nor traveling to Berlin to see his show. However, I will continue to delight in artists and projects that pique my interest and send me off onto modes of thinking and development in my own practice. And I will most definitely be adding Freaks and Geeks to movie night with my friends.
In conclusion, let this be a launch pad, a starting gate or an off the line topic that will propel this years blog to new heights and begin to gather some substantial feedback from readers.