Entries tagged with “James Franco”.


Hollywood loves more than anything else to make films about Hollywood. There may be some trivial economic reasons for this, films about films taking place mostly in film studios are easy to make in film studios. There is a more deeper reason however, and this is the Hollywood fascination for movies and for itself. It may be considered self-serving, but when the fascination is shared by audiences the result is good movies. Actually, some of the best movies made at Hollywood take place and are about making films (in most cases in Hollywood). ‘s ‘The Disaster Artist’ belongs to this category, but there is an increased risk as its topic is the making of ‘The Room‘ considered by many the worst film in history and its principal hero is its director, producer, script actor and lead actor,

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3521126/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3521126/

 

The Disaster Artist’ tells the true story of the making of a film which many consider so bad that it should never have been done. Yet, this film is born of the passion and of the desire to prove themselves of two aspiring actors who were rejected by the Hollywood system. We know that Hollywood is a capitalist jungle, that one in a hundred or a thousand make it, that in order to succeed one needs talent and luck. But if talent and luck are missing, can money replace them?  tried to prove it by making ’The Room‘. The result was surprising, just because the film was not mediocre, it was awful. Superlatively awful, to the point to become a success and a legend.

 

(video source A24)

Viewing  ’The Disaster Artist’ asks some troubling questions about what is a ‘good’ film, and what it takes for a film to become a ‘cult film’. Are we living in times of such confusion of values that nothing does really matter? If bad is good, than ‘The Room‘ is the best because it was the worst? What turned it into a ‘cult film’ and what does this mean? I would not say that all these artistic and philosophical questions found answers in ’The Disaster Artist’. The film is well made and it entertains,  does a good job as a film director and as an actor, but I cannot claim that I understand his character (yes, he has passion, but passion is just one component of film or any other art making) or what a ‘cult film’ is. I can however say that I witnessed an episode of the ‘cult of ‘The Room” as the cinema hall at the cinematheque in my city was more populated than in an average evening, most of the spectators were young people who knew and voiced text loudly, in chorus and in sync with the actors, and brought with them spoons. Why spoons? You need to come and see the movie to learn the answer.

In one of the episodes of the TV mini-series 11.22.63 developed for television by , co-produced by J.J. Abrams and based upon the novel by Stephen King, the main hero, and English teacher played by asks in class what would be the consequences of time travel, changing the past and thus influencing present and future. One of his students asks whether time travel in the question is based on electromagnetic field. The teacher tries to explain that it does not matter, and that the question is about the historical and moral consequences of our acts in the past, provided that we can do – somehow – the trip back in time. The student does not get it, the important aspect for his gadgets oriented mind (and maybe the minds of many of the kids in his generation) is about the technology.

When watching 11.22.63 one needs to avoid the kid’s way of thinking. This mini-series is not about technology and you get no explanation how the backdoor of an eatery in main hosts a gateway which when crossed you walk in a sunny day of the year 1960. You can return any time you want, just two minutes passed in 2016, although you can have spent minutes or years in the seventh decade of the 20th century. Each time you cross the gate, the effects of your previous actions are erased. You may have fallen in love, you may have killed somebody, you may have saved lives. It works only once, only the last trip counts.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2879552/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2879552/

 

English teacher Jake Epping aims high. He plans to do what probably many Americans who lived the period or know history would do if projected back to the 1960s – try to avoid the assassination of president Kennedy in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963 – the one event that is presumed to have changed the course of history to worse. It’s just that history is not linear, our guesses do not always fit the possible paths history takes or may take, and there will be surprises both on the way and the outcome of the imaginary actions taken to prevent the killing in Dallas. And then, one more important thing happens. Jake Epping will find love in the 60s, and this thread becomes as important in the balance of the story as the historical background.

 

(video source Hulu)

 

I did not read King’s novel, but I assume that much of the suspense in the series, as well as the questions the viewers are faced derive from the book. The final episode reserves some big surprises as well as a deep reflection on what is good and what is bad in history, what consequences small or big actions can have, what is important in life – the big scheme of things, or maybe the smaller personal feelings, provided that their are genuine and deep. The chemistry on screen between Franco and his sentimental interest played by add tremendously to the story. Maybe Franco is a little bit too likeable for the role, but I was satisfied with his acting performance overall. We do not learn new things about the JFK assassination, but we get an image of the 1960s which is built in credible details, better than in many other retro movies. Overall you may find ’11.22.63′ as good quality entertainment, just do not ask questions about the technology of time travel.