In Dubious Battle

An adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era novel about two labour organizers trying to unionize exploited California fruit pickers.

Saturday Night

Have you ever wondered how a sketch was chosen for Saturday Night Live? Or why some actors are in more sketches than others? With John Malcovich hosting the episode and unprecedented access to the behind the scenes action, watch as Franco takes an observational approach in documenting what it takes to create one full episode. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]

The Broken Tower

The Broken Tower is a 2011 American black-and-white docudrama directed by James Franco. The film is about American poet Hart Crane, who committed suicide in April 1932 at the age of 32 by jumping off the steamship SS Orizaba. Franco appears in the starring role and edited, co-produced, and wrote the screenplay. Michael Shannon also stars in the 90-minute film.

Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is)

Francophrenia is a brilliant, cutting-edge collaboration between famed actor and avant-garde artist James Franco and award-winning filmmaker and editor Ian Olds. When Franco signed up for an acting gig on the soap opera General Hospital, he brought along a crew to film behind-the-scenes action on set at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, creating a glimpse into the strange world of celebrity in both its public and private moments.

Working with this “found footage,” director Ian Olds repurposes Franco’s material into an experimental psychological thriller focusing on the actor’s escalating paranoia. It is a mind-bending meditation on identity—of the individual human being whose name is James Franco, the performance artist Franco that he plays in the television soap opera, and the movie star James Franco. Added to these multiple personae, Olds and fellow screenwriter Paul Felten add a subjective interior monologue (spoken by Olds playing the voice of Franco, in fact) that underscores the conflicted relationship between these various facets of the same being. The fragile psychology of “Franco,” teetering on the edge (both literally and figuratively), is enhanced by the introduction of experimental tropes throughout the film, including reverse action, abstraction, animation, and multiple-screen imagery, all set within the context of a dramatic suspense narrative. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.]

The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury captures the lives and passions of the Compsons, a once proud Southern family caught in a tragic spiral of loss and misfortune. Based on the novel by Nobel Prize-winner author William Faulkner and considered among the 20th century’s greatest works, The Sound and the Fury encapsulates the universal theme of the death of honour, social injustice and forbidden love. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]

Sal

James Franco’s Sal chronicles the final hours of the life of actor Sal Mineo, one-time teen idol and star of the blockbuster films Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus.

Child of God

Based on the acclaimed 1973 Cormac McCarthy novel, “Child of God” takes place in 1960s Tennessee, where Lester Ballard is a dispossessed, violent man. Deprived first of his family and then his home, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller, falling deeper into a disturbing life of crime and degradation.

As I Lay Dying

Based on the 1930 classic by Faulkner, it is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family’s quest to honor her wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.