Today, James Franco and American poet Frank Bidart premiered the cinematic translation of the poem Herbert White. And it was good. It was a well thought out film that managed to complement the poem without being an imitation. The movie was more about the outward signs of the internal struggle that necrophiliac killer Herbert dealt with while the poem gave the listener an inside look at Herbert’s inner monologue. The poem was about the hell of his thoughts and deeds – the movie is about the horrifying fact that it’s hidden. Both Bidart and Franco collaborated amazingly well on the short film. Overall the experience was enriching. And surprising.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I didn’t really think the film would be about such a difficult,and potentially controversial piece. Like his other fans, I’ve heard about Franco’s academic explorations (and numerous degrees). But still – I can’t help but look at him and momentarily think of Pineapple Express‘s Saul Silver. From the contrast with the poem, you can tell how much thought that Franco put into his film. And from Bidart’s compliments, it reflected the work well. It wasn’t an amazing big budget film – Franco is a student. While I don’t think his peers may have the chance to have campus wide premieres, the fact that it didn’t look endlessly edited and pristine was almost humbling. He’s one of us!!
But what was less surprising, and more saddening, are the actions of his fans. (more…)