James Franco directs and stars in the unfilmable ‘As I Lay Dying’

James Franco say he manages his fame the same way you manage your Facebook account. Credit: Getty
James Franco says he manages his fame the same way you manage your Facebook account.
Credit: Getty

As you may have heard, James Franco’s been busy. In addition to being a prolific actor (he squares off against Jason Statham in “Homefront” in a couple weeks), he’s also a prolific director who’s particularly drawn to novels deemed unfilmable. His take on William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying,” which played at the Toronto Film Festival this year along with his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “Child of God,” has just arrived on DVD. And in addition to “Actors Anonymous,” his new book of short stories, Franco is promising an adaptation of Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” next.

Franco on literary adaptations:
“What I figured out with even my short films based on poetry is if I use a literary source that is somehow stylistically interesting or stylistically unconventional or just complex, it will push me as a filmmaker in new directions. It will take me out of conventional ways of filmmaking,” he explains. “If I’m going to direct a film, I don’t want to just do a nice job at something that you’ve kind of seen before. I want to explore new stuff. And I think that’s one of the reasons that I don’t just act.

“There are stories that I love that I just don’t think would be told. ‘As I Lay Dying’ has been around for 80 years. Nobody’s made it. So I made it. There’s this old adage that great books make bad movies and bad books can make good movies, like ‘The Godfather’ — I mean, it’s not a bad book, it’s just kind of a dime-store thing. I don’t think that’s completely true, but what I think is true about it is when people love a good book it’s not just because of the story; it’s because of the way it’s written, the style, the structure. Something that works in a book won’t necessarily work in a movie in the exact same way. You have to translate the style. And I love that. That’s, I guess, become my thing.”

Franco on Franco:
“The way that we look at ourselves is forever changed because of the way our own images are distributed, the way we distribute them, the way we reshape them. It’s tied up with public image, celebrity and our relationship to that,” Franco says. “So I’m in a position where I do have a public image in, I guess, a very public way. But I really view that — my relationship to my public image — as something that is just maybe a larger projection or a larger, more extreme version of the way someone projects him or herself on Facebook, photos that he or she decides to post, what he or she decides to write, how that public image is crafted.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…