Given that all art originates from James Franco, and all art is only understood through the perspective of James Franco, it is inevitable—according to the grand unifying theory of Franco—that James Franco would eventually be called upon to critique the art of James Franco, and to put it in a context that can be analyzed and appreciated by James Franco. The first hints of this artistic event horizon have now appeared with Franco’s latest movie review column for Vice, where Franco—after ominously warning, “Here’s the end of it all” —looks back in Franco at Spring Breakers, an important movie that, most importantly, starred James Franco.
“There will never be a movie or a character that is more important for this age than Spring Breakers and its protagonist Alien,” declares Franco of the movie, and the age, he stars in. Franco goes on to offer many, thoroughly Franco reasons behind his thesis: that Alien, a “gangster mystic,” is “the guru of the age,” representing the era when “we are all stars in our self-recorded iPhone films” and/or guest columns. That Alien and “Selena [Gomez] and the gang” exist in “a mist of metacommentary that is constantly saying, What you are watching is extreme, yes, but it is all subtext, bitches,” much like what Franco is constantly saying himself. (Look also for Franco's signature cologne, Mist Of Metacommentary.)
Franco further Francoes that Spring Breakers offers a rejoinder to “the clean polished, heteronormative, nerds, jocks, and white-dudes-win kind of lifestyle” presented so often by the entertainment industry, showing those same “white dudes” to “entertain themselves, to turn themselves into stars in their own minds and the minds of those around them,” which is ostensibly a positive thing. He also believes such self-aggrandizing is “the tale of our times”—a tale told by a Franco, full of sound and fury (and neon, and the words “bitches” and “motherfuckers”), and signifying the nothing that is what Franco calls “the neorealism of the Facebook age.”
There’s also this opening paragraph, in which James Franco—in the Franco paragraph of all Franco paragraphs—illustrates his point:
As Harmony Korine's friend Werner Herzog said to me on the phone call of all phone calls—I was out in North Carolina, sitting in a little Mexican restaurant called Cocula that I frequent on my lunch breaks from the low-residency writing MFA program at Warren Wilson College, just staring out the window that’s frosted over with a map of Mexico, at the dirty field across the roadway—when he told me that my performance in the film made De Niro in Taxi Driver look like a kindergartener, and that the film was the most important film of the decade. Imagine in a distinct German accent: “Three hundred years from now, when people want to look back at dis time, dey won’t go to the Obama inauguration speech, dey will go to Spring Breakers.”
Although the movie pleased the man who believes the universe is nothing but “chaos, hostility, and murder” by also adding some gangsta rap and bikinis to the mix, Franco seems to acknowledge that some critics took issue with all that disorder. “You want a story? Fuck a story,” Franco retorts, adding, “No one wants stories nowadays,” in what is either a satirically cynical read on the current pop culture climate, or an explanation for most of his fiction. Instead, Franco likens Spring Breakers to “trance music in movie form,” characterizing it as a “chopped, screwed, and digitized” version of our modern emphasis on “the experience,” and the very “embodiment” of our, disjointed, Twitter-addled age.
“This is reality; this is Instagram,” Franco says, before concluding, “It is everything that we are today. You’re welcome.” “No, you’re welcome, James Franco,” James Franco said, in an Instagram reply to James Franco’s blog post, as this is reality.
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