HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM – James Franco will add another award to his résumé at the Venice Film Festival this year: the prestigious Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory.
The award singles out individuals who are focused on innovating contemporary cinema.
Franco will receive the award before presenting his latest film, The Sound and the Fury, which will receive its world premiere out of competition on the Lido.
“The adaptation of the great classics of American literature, like his new film based on a novel by Faulkner, which will be presented in Venice, is a major thread in his creative approach, characterized by boldness, lucidity, courage and self-confidence,” said festival director Alberto Barbera. “These values transform his omnivorous verve into a concept of total art performance, founded on considerable curiosity and intelligence.”
The Sound and the Fury stars Franco himself alongside frequent collaborator Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey King, Ahna O’Reilly, Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm. The film marks his second William Faulkner adaptation. He previously premiered As I Lay Dying in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at the Cannes festival, which was released on VOD in the U.S.
Franco has been a mainstay on the Lido since 2011, when he premiered his film Sal in the Horizons program. In 2012, he attended to promote Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers in which he starred as a bad-boy named Alien.
In 2013, he promoted Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto, a film based on his own short stories, in which he also starred, and his own Child of God, now playing in U.S. theaters.
This year marks a decade-long sponsorship from the luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre in support of the festival. Past recipients of the award include Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnes Varda, Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino, Spike Lee and last year’s Ettore Scola.
THEWRAP.COM – James Franco makes his move on Emma Roberts in one of two new clips from director Gia Coppola’s adaptation of his short story collection, “Palo Alto.”
Franco plays a soccer coach who crosses the line with a student (Roberts), who also babysits his children, in the drama centered on a group of teens at a California high school.
Val Kilmer, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff (“The Fault in Our Stars”), Zoe Levin (“The Way Way Back”), Keegan Allen (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Chris Messina co-star in the indie film hitting select theaters on May 9.
The clip (above) shows Franco kissing his underage crush while helping her with a history paper, while another (below) shows him luring her into the situation with the promise of helping her with homework.
Check out the TV Ad for the upcoming Broadway revival of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. Tickets are on-sale to the general public through Telecharge.com (212-239-6200). Performances begin March 19, 2014 and officially opens April 16, 2014 at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street, NYC). This is a strictly limited engagement through July 27, 2014.
INDIEWIRE.COM – Melissa Leo has hopped aboard the cast of “The Fixer,” from writer/director Ian Olds. Co-written by Paul Felten, the film centers on Gloria (Leo), the erstwhile-hippie sheriff of a small Northern California town opposite Lindsay (James Franco), a volatile hot tub craftsman. The part of Gloria was written with Leo in mind.
In “The Fixer,” an Afghan journalist exiled from his war-torn country comes to Gloria’s town, stirring up shadowy backwoods intrigue involving casual sex, suspicion and unexpected violence. Olds previously worked with Leo on his Sundance short “Bomb” in 2007. In 2009, he directed the documentary “Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi” about a similarly thwarted journalist.
DeLisi Creative will launch an international search for the leading role of 28-year-old Osman, who will join Leo and Franco. DeLisi Creative was part of the team behind the search for the Somali pirates in “Captain Phillips.”
Leo was recently spotted at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presenting the Outstanding Director Award to David O. Russell, who directed her all the way to an Oscar for “The Fighter.” She picked up an Emmy last year for her hilarious supporting turn in FX’s “Louie.”
DEADLINE.COM – James Franco, already the entertainment industry’s answer to the Swiss Army Knife, has found yet another way to be more versatile. He has teamed up with Playhouse West to run his own acting school, Studio 4, at the Sherry Theater in Los Angeles. Studio 4 classes will be taught by Franco and additional guest teachers using the Meisner technique. The school offers twice weekly courses to train wannabe thesps in the Meisner technique as well as several advanced classes and projects following Franco’s creative visions. Playhouse West is the original home of Sanford Meisner’s Los Angeles classes he taught beginning in 1987 until the end of his teaching career. During this period, Meisner continued to evolve his technique adding new exercises and approaches. Studio 4 has adopted the Playhouse West unique approach that incorporates these innovations to Mr. Meisner’s work.
Studio 4 will weave in the work of Franco’s production company Rabbit Bandini Productions to create opportunities for students. Franco will use his influence to draw pros for Q&A sessions and hold scene nights in the studio. Students will also get to show their stuff in front of Franco and Rabbit Bandini will cast roles directly from his classes.
The trailer for the upcoming “Maladies” is online and you can check it out in the player above, courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.
James plays an actor named James who used to be on a soap opera and now wants to devote himself to writing and other artistic pursuits. The film takes place in the 1960s, and his character moves in with his unbalanced sister (Fallon Goodson) and an understanding friend (Catherine Keener). James (the character) begins to hear voices, and he struggles to keep himself together and restart his life.
The film is the feature directorial debut of the multimedia artist Carter, who previously worked with Franco on the conceptual film “Erased James Franco.” For that, the actor spent 13 hours recreating key moments from his previous performances alone on a minimal stage.
James said that while the story is fictional, “Maladies” is fundamentally about his relationship to Carter, with Keener’s character being inspired by the artist. Franco professed, “In ‘Maladies’ the two characters make a pact that if one of them dies the other will finish the dead person’s work. I would be honored to make such a pact with Carter, because he understands me better than most.”
“Maladies” opens in select cities on Mar. 21, and will be available on iTunes and VOD on Mar. 25.
VARIETY.COM – Tribeca Film has dated “Palo Alto,” the debut feature from Gia Coppola, for a May 9 opening in New York and Los Angeles, followed by a national release.
Palo Alto screened last year in the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals and Tribeca Film picked up U.S. rights in December. Coppola is the granddaughter Francis Ford Coppola and niece of Sophia Coppola.
The film is a James Franco and Rabbit Bandini Prods. presentation, produced by Sebastian Pardo, Adriana Rotaru, Miles Levy and Vince Jolivette and based on several linked stories in James Franco’s book of the same name about a group of high school students.
Franco stars with Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff, Zoe Levin, Chris Messina and Val Kilmer with three storylines — a young woman (Roberts) caught between flirting with her soccer coach (Franco) and a relationship with a teen stoner (Jack Kilmer); another about a sexually promiscuous young woman (Levin) and a third about the stoner and his possibly dangerous best friend (Wolff).
James is featured in a commercial for the new Ford Fusion hybrid along with Fox NFL Sunday host Rob Ringgle.
ESQUIRE.COM – Jared Leto, currently starring in Dallas Buyers Club, has made a short film with his band Thirty Seconds to Mars called City of Angels about the city of Los Angeles, and for it he’s gathered an intimidating cast of local celebrities to talk about their lives there, including Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan, Juliette Lewis… and James Franco. Here we’re premiering exclusive unseen footage from the shooting of the doc, in which Franco tells the story of his rise in L.A. Young Franco purportedly dreamed of “sun and palm trees” and wanted to be the “third James” to attend UCLA (following the footsteps of his heroes Jim Morrison and James Dean). Then he goes off on a tangent about broken dreams. All in all, pretty whacky but endearing, which is to say, exactly what we’ve come to expect from James Franco.
Silver Lake residents may wring their hands over neighbors renting out houses on the travelers website Airbnb, but some high-profile L.A. locations will be rolling out the welcome mat for the company next week. With the help of celebrities including James Franco, Lake Bell and Anjelica Huston, Airbnb is installing pop-up houses — modern mini-studios from prefab manufacturer Kithaus — at locations such as the Viper Room (Moby) and the Grove (Molly Sims) for four days starting Friday. Plans also call for entertainment and activities.
Spokeswoman Emily Joffrion said designer Emily Henderson was brought in to serve as chief liaison, translating celebrity questionnaires about style and inspirations into actual interiors with the help of additional designers.
“You think you know these people because they are in the public eye, but then you get their questionnaires back and you see these curveballs, in a good way,” Henderson said. Here’s a rundown of three pop-ups. More details and schedule at www.airbnbhellola.com.
Designer: Matthew Lanphier
Location: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
The look: A custom paint-by-numbers artwork serves as a 1970s-flavored, bohemian backdrop to the giant “YOLO,” the acronym for “you only live once.” “It’s a trite hashtag right now, but we’re trying to use it ironically, since we’re at the cemetery,” Henderson said, laughing. “That was our wink at him to show his mischievous side.” Other elements: a hand chair based on the design of Pedro Freideberg and a headboard upholstered in vintage leather scraps stitched in a random pattern. Out of view: an exterior wall the design team is calling “the mausoleum,” with 32 placards printed with quotes from Franco’s favorite authors and equipped with miniature vases of fresh flowers, just like a real mausoleum. “It’s kind of creepy and totally awesome,” Henderson said.