James Franco

Is an Ironic Review of James Franco’s Poetry the Best ‘The New York Times Book Review’ Can Do?

In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, the poetry columnist David Orr writes an excellent piece on James Franco’s poetry. Orr reviews Franco’s newest collection, Directing Herbert White, released by Graywolf Press in March — and instead of judging Franco’s work through the scrim of the cult of celebrity, he takes it, generally, at its worth: “Directing Herbert White is the sort of collection written by reasonably talented M.F.A. students in hundreds of M.F.A. programs stretching from sea to shining sea.” He compliments the good wordplay: “‘This despair is nice’: The tone is neatly judged,” and he goes in on the bad lines: “He’s prone to phrases that sound good at first but collapse under scrutiny (‘Webbed by a nexus of stone walkways’).” … Read More

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For Flavorwire, the Future of Celebrity Op-Eds Is a Love Story

Where will you be in 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 50 seconds? Will you have clicked out of this link already?

Before I tell you my thoughts on the matter, you should know that you’re reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in journalism who still believes that celebrity op-eds are not dying… they’re just coming alive. … Read More

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Watch a New Trailer for James Franco’s Cormac McCarthy Adaptation ‘Child of God’

Another day, another James Franco project — except this one involves Cormac McCarthy, a criminal outsider (not played by… Read More

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10 Great Books by Women That James Franco Desperately Needs to Read

When you write about culture on a pretty constant basis, James Franco is sometimes like a good old friend who shows up exactly when you need him, always there to say or do something that you can write about. In terms of books, which I believe is Franco’s preferred side gig to his acting, Franco should be commended because there are few celebrities aside from maybe Oprah or now Stephen Colbert who do as much to help more casual readers discover new writers, and that’s a good thing. But… … Read More

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Chris Christie, ‘The Interview,’ and the Difference Between Political Satire and Savvy PR

Last week, disgraced New Jersey governor Chris Christie set out on one of politics’ most time-honored and reliable paths to redemption: poking fun at himself. He made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, pulling out his best “dad dance” moves and generally portraying himself as a lovable goof. “Look,” his performance seemed to say, “I’m a bit dorky, a bit cuddly, a bit funny — now can we forget that I’m responsible for the most jaw-droppingly petty and childish political self-destructions of our time?” I doubt it’ll succeed in redeeming him, but the whole spectacle is a reminder of how humor can be a double-edged sword when it comes to politics. … Read More

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A Guide to Celebrities Who Are the Absolute Worst On Social Media

Ah, yes, celebrities: they’re just like us. Which means some of them are just as annoying as your aunt on Facebook, as unnecessarily cranky as your old college roommate on Twitter, and as insufferable as your #humblebrag colleague on Instagram. They’re basically The Worst, with the icing on the cake being that they have a built-in web audience since they’re celebrities. Here’s a guide to the worst offenders, from Ted Nugent to Jason Biggs to… Read More

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James Franco Will Continue Writing and Getting Published, and There’s Absolutely Nothing We Can Do About It

Times are tough, things are bad, and they’re only getting worse: James Franco just keeps writing. We’re in an age when we keep having to accept realities that once seemed impossible. A good-looking, 30-something dude actor getting his writing published all over the place is really pretty low on the list of things we should be concerned about, yet we can’t stop talking about Franco’s writing, or the spectacle of James Franco as an actor who tries to do a lot more than act, and the institutions that enable him. … Read More

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James Franco Reveals Why He Loves Grad School, and It’s Kind of Disappointing

When James Franco started to chronically enroll in grad school programs from MFA to PhD, at schools like Columbia, New York University, Yale, Brooklyn College, Warren Wilson College, and Rhode Island School of Design, I was hoping, half-ironically, that his maniacal approach to the joy of learning — which began in 2008 or so, when the financial crisis was ruining the job prospects of the young, so it felt like Franco was mocking us with his schooling — was the greatest performance-art hack of all: exposing the emptiness of higher education’s bubble, how money and fame can trump ability when it comes to the chance to learn. … Read More

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