James Franco

Victorian couple

Flirting with the Victorian, Living in the Future: Links You Need to See

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When people bemoan the impersonal, cowardly or even misrepresentative ways we flirt online — and how said flirting is now preferred to in-person flirting — they usually also recall the good old days when the pursuant would address the pursued with an extemporaneous witticism, and the two would share a drink at a candlelit counter, staring into one another’s actual eyes, speaking with their actual mouths. But said recollection just doesn’t speak to everyone’s past experiences. The same romantic cowardice we now hide behind was always present, as Hyperallergic points out, in their gallery of a selection of Victorian escort cards. These absurd cards were used by men who simply didn’t want to have to vocalize the fact that they’d like to flirt/bed/whatever someone. 
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Jonah Hill in "True Story"

When Did Film Get So Cynical About Journalism?

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The theatrical release of Rupert Goold’s True Story this Friday was set quite some time ago, announced even before the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, so its timeliness is coincidental, but still remarkable. Based on the memoir of the same name, it tells the story of how New York Times reporter Mike Finkel (Jonah Hill) lost his job and credibility with a poorly reported cover story on child slavery on the Ivory Coast, and made an unlikely comeback by stumbling into the story of murderer Christian Longo (James Franco), who used Finkel’s name as an alias while on the run. It hits theaters in the midst of discussion and dissemination of the Columbia School of Journalism’s blistering review of Rolling Stone’s story “A Rape on Campus,” aptly described therein as “another shock to journalism’s credibility.” And True Story fits well within the current pattern of how movies portray that once lionized, now battered profession.
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Aubrey Plaza in Hal Hartley's "Ned Rifle"

Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in April

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If you’re in the (seemingly shrinking!) minority of people who don’t run salivating to the theater for movies where superhumans in fast cars defy the laws of gravity and physics, April is a pretty grim month for mainstream cinema. Between the Nicolas Sparks adaptation, the Paul Blart sequel, the chat-room horror movie, and the aforementioned sixth sequel to a warmed-over braindead Friedkin wannabe, it’s like looking like January all over again at the multiplex. So once again, it’s indies to the rescue; here are ten four-star limited releases to check out as spring rolls in.
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dilettantes

In Praise of Kanye West, James Franco, and Other High-Art Multi-Hyphenates

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Earlier this year, famed rapper, producer, and headline subject Kanye West put out a fashion line through Adidas, called Yeezy Season 1. It was not the prettiest thing in the world, and, though he made grand proclamations about his intention to have these items priced fairly, at $450 for a sweatshirt, it is not affordable to most human beings, no matter how you shake it. To put it simply: the line was pretty much universally panned, and people told him to stop. But he shouldn’t stop. Neither should James Franco, Lena Dunham, Miranda July, Ethan Hawke, Shia LaBeouf, or any of their other multi-hyphenate friends. They should do whatever the hell they want — and, in fact, the more the merrier.
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Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in "Trainwreck"

10 SXSW 2015 Movies We Can’t Wait to See

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Hold my calls, I’ll be in Austin. Yes, tomorrow marks the start of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, one of the most purely enjoyable weeks of the movie year (and, no small side plus, a welcome blast of sunshine after a particularly miserable winter). With a remarkable 145 features in this year’s fest — from a record 2,385 submissions — there’s no way to even come close to seeing everything that looks interesting, or striking, or fun. But here are a few of the movies we’re looking forward to seeing, either in Austin or soon thereafter.
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sheen

The Funniest and Most Vicious Comedy Central Roast Speeches

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We’ve reached the “publicly begging people to show up” phase of planning for Justin Bieber’s March 30th roast on Comedy Central; yesterday, the noted Photoshop template took to social media to ask Seth Rogen, whose low estimation of Bieber is well known, to tear him a new one on national television. As the hype surrounding the Kevin Hart-hosted event (Kate McKinnon, presumably, didn’t have time for the gig given her SNL schedule), we’ve rounded up some of the best appearances from the network’s 17-year tradition of having comedians puncture stars’ egos, and each other’s, on camera.
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kim jong il

‘A Kim Jong-Il Production’ Is an Incredible True Story About North Korea and Film

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In December 2014, the imminent release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s idiots-take-North Korea comedy The Interview set off both the Sony Pictures hacking scandal and the terrorist threat that any theaters showing the film would be attacked: “The world will be full of fear,” the hackers wrote. It was still a strange, surreal, largely online controversy that was hard for the average American citizen to see and feel the effects of in their day-to-day life. For me, the clearest example of a world with and without The Interview was when I was walking past a days-in-the-making painted mural advertising the movie in Williamsburg; the day after the film was officially pulled from theaters, that ad was, once again, a white wall.
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