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Show Me Something New

By Alyssa Rosenberg

"Show Me Something New"

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I’m interested to see the point at which James Franco starts failing to deliver the projects he’s signed up for, or backing out because he’s overcommitted. And I also wonder when he’s finally going to hit on something that’s outre enough to harm his reputation as a mainstream box office draw?

They just keep coming, and they just keep ramping up: this time, he and Harmony Korine are apparently going to set up an opportunity for gang members to do some real damage to each other and hurt them. If I weren’t so disgusted, I might be bored by this. But a couple of privileged white boys getting together around a project that involves poor men of color hurting each other so they can convince audiences they’re experiencing something visceral and genuine? I’m supposed to be impressed by this? This isn’t Lady Gaga’s meat dress. This has consequences.

I respect a lot of things in the name of art, and professionalism and a moral engagement with what you’re doing are both on the list. Franco at this point just seems to be throwing a million things at the wall, enlisting collaborators who are glad to have his mainstream appeal and credibility. I would hope that he’d make those artistic choices in a way that will promote good, underlooked artists, and will produce genuinely challenging, interesting projects if what he’s interested in is being avante garde. This doesn’t qualify, to me. If there’s something he’s going to pare off his list in order to do well, this collaboration seems like a good place to start cutting.

‹ Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday

Graduating Class ›

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