Having lingered long enough in the languorous summer cottage of gay bars, S&M clubs, and porn shoots that compose his Sundance lineup, James Franco has emerged refreshed and reenergized, ready again to push himself with only slightly less obvious material. Deadline reports that Franco has signed on to direct and star in Beautiful People, a biopic of 1960s “hairstylist to the stars” Jay Sebring, and not necessarily just a blurry collage of transvestite models posing awkwardly to Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” played at half-speed. Pin all hopes for that on a gallery companion piece to come later, with the actual film concentrating on telling the story of Sebring’s artifice-enhancing encounters with various icons who have fallen victim to the mythologizing of pop culture, all before Sebring and his occasional lover Sharon Tate fall victim to the iconic murdering of the Manson Family. “I’m interested in examining those artificial barriers separating appearance and actuality, the thin lines between celebrity and cult behavior,” Franco probably said to the barista asking whether he wanted cream in his coffee.
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