James Franco Reviews ‘The Great Gatsby’ Movie
The challenge Baz Luhrmann had in adapting The Great Gatsby to film was similar to what Walter Salles faced with On the Road: how to stay loyal to the era depicted, while still retaining the rawness of the original text. Salles did a great job of capturing the ambiance of 1950s America, but it could be argued that his Dean and Sal didn’t have enough zeal—enough of that desire to live, live, live.
The old saying is that a good book makes a bad film, while a paperback potboiler like The Godfather makes a great film. But this wisdom is derived from the idea that a good book is made by the writing, and if it’s adapted into whatever, its magic is lost. As just about every (film) critique has already noted—and they’re right, if repetitive—most of what makes The Great Gatsby great is Fitzgerald’s prose. We allow the classics to get away with so much because we love the characters. But when older stories are revived for film, the issue of the past and present must be rectified. But that lack was not a function of anything missing in the actors or the general direction as much as it is a result of the passage of time, the encasing of a book in the precious container of “classic” status.
Big News: The Official “As I Lay Dying” Trailer has come out, directed by our very own, James Franco! It has gotten off to a fantastic start, as it was selected to premiere at the most prestigious film festival in the world, Cannes.
James will be participating in an interview with his mom today in Northern California. They are promoting James’ new book, A California Childhood.
James Franco on the cover of June’s GQ magazine, photographed by Terry Richardson.
Actors Anonymous by James Franco out October 15th, 2013.
Actors Anonymous is unsettling, funny, personal, and dark, a story told in many forms, from testimonials (in the style of Alcoholics Anonymous) and scripts to letters, diaries, and more. Franco turns his “James Franco” persona inside out—sometimes humorously, often mercilessly. The book brims with profound insights into the nature and purpose of acting, bawdy satires of the high life, as well as deeply moving portraits of aspiring actors who never quite made it.
Franco’s seemingly inexhaustible celebrity currency makes this that rare work in which the writer’s fame matches his considerable literary ambition. Partly inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Actors Anonymous is an intense, wild ride that’s pure Franco.