• My Take on 'Romeo and Juliet'

    Here’s a little video based on Romeo and Juliet that I directed. It was shot by my main man, Bruce Thierry Cheung, who is still at NYU after six years—someone tell that boy to graduate.

  • I Love William Gay’s ‘The Long Home’

    My new favorite writer is William Gay. His writes about a community of backwoods Tennessee characters entangled by geography, blood, competition, greed, love, and vengeance. The thing about Gay is that he’s the strange twin brother of Cormac McCarthy—or at least his pen is.

  • Cowboy Film Stills

    So we did this series of photos and poems based on Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills. It was JANE’s concept, but I actually shot the pictures. He got all the credit, and they ended up selling for like $15,000 each.

  • Catfishing with Nev Schulman and His New Book, 'In Real Life'

    Where does reality end and begin? If our bodies and physical circumstances are only half of what we are, when we take on another layer of personality, what does it matter that it is digitally altered?

  • The Power of the Past in Cormac McCarthy's 'Wake for Susan'

    My adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s third novel, Child of God, is in theaters tomorrow, so I wrote about McCarthy's first published short story, “Wake for Susan,” to show that he has had a fascination with death since the beginning and is the undisputed master of the Southe…

  • Watch James Franco's Short Film, 'The Clerk's Tale,' Based on a Poem by Spencer Reece

    Watch my short film The Clerk's Tale, which is based on a Spencer Reece poem about working at a Brooks Brothers in the Mall of America, exclusively on VICE.

  • James Franco’s ‘Blood Meridian’ Test

    In honor of the release of Child of God on August 1, I’m posting a 25-minute test I did for the film version of Blood Meridian, starring Scott Glenn, Luke Perry, Mark Pellegrino (Lost), and my brother, Dave. If you know the book, you’ll recognize that this is…

  • Adapting 'Blood Meridian'

    I have always wanted to adapt Cormac McCarthy’s great novel into film. Many have tried and failed. I dreamed about adapting it, never thinking that it would happen. If Tommy Lee Jones couldn’t do it and Ridley Scott couldn’t do it, how could I?

  • Franco's Summer Movie Club

    For me, summer means time to watch movies and read. Since we talked about books last time, here are some movies to watch between the blockbusters full of explosions, men in tights, and aliens on the big screens. It’s hard to choose, so I just put down the ones I’ve watched lately…

  • Franco's Summer Book Club

    Summer is here, so I thought I would offer a few books that have been on my list. I hope to pass on some books that might make a few marks on your own souls.

  • Adapting Anthony Hecht's 'The Feast of Stephen' to Film

    Because my film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book, Child of God, will be released this August, I thought I would publish a discussion I had on my previous attempts at transforming literature into film. Chiefly, my adaptation of Anthony Hecht's poem "The Feast of Steph…

  • James Franco Speaks with Frank Bidart About Poetry

    Earlier this spring we asked James Franco to interview the poet Frank Bidart for our June fiction issue. Unfortunately, great work is cut from our print magazine every month, and this was one of the pieces we couldn't fit.

  • My Friend, Jonah

    Jonah Hill is a lovable mensch who embodies so much and has so much more to give. Early on in his career, Jonah was hired to fill Seth Rogen's "Likable Jew with a Fresh Mouth" bucket. But after The Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah is quickly veering toward Total Greatness.

  • Paying for Paying for Sex

    Chester Brown’s 2011 graphic novel, Paying for It, is a bold examination of straight female prostitution, as well as a cogent argument for its decriminalization, through an entertaining depiction of Brown's own forays into the world of sex workers in Toronto.

  • 'The Beast of the East': A Play

    I got 200 on my SATs, I’m a fucking idiot, I have no talent except torturing the nerds at my high school who actually made films and did something creative with their time. I want to go to Hollywood and be in pictures. Oh, no, the nerds I picked on now run Hollywood?

  • The Bling Ringers Are the Modern-Day Rebels

    How we feel about fame, what we’re willing to do to achieve it, and why anyone even cares are topics both fascinating and insidious.

  • 'Three's Company,' a Play

    I know, you’re probably thinking, that sexist show about a sex-crazed man and two bimbos in short shorts and tight tops, one dumber than the other, sexual content, homophobic jokes, nagging wives, and stupid physical comedy? EXACTLY.

  • Showing the Dirty Stuff in Movies

    Sexual content and sexual addiction are the latest to undergo a transformation in movies, and Nymphomaniac is proof that the subject is becoming less taboo in mainstream commercial venues.

  • Group as Character in Steinbeck’s 'In Dubious Battle'

    As many of you know, I’ve been performing in a Broadway production of one of John Steinbeck’s best-known works, Of Mice and Men, which is why I'm writing about one of his lesser-read works, In Dubious Battle, a novel that is part of Steinbeck's migrant-worker tr…

  • If I Directed 'Othello'

    It is time for a shift in perception about Shakespeare’s Othello. Since its first performance in the early 1600s, the production has gone different permutations.

  • Broadway, Baby

    So you want to know what it’s like to put up a play on Broadway? I’ll tell ya. But, I should note, the way a classic play is put on (specifically John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, in which I am currently starring) is much different from the way a new one is produced…

  • Hart Crane’s Poetry on Screen

    In honor of the fact that I'm living in Brooklyn while I perform in my Broadway debut, Of Mice and Men, I thought I would share an old letter about Hart Crane that I wrote to Alan Williamson, my former poetry teacher at Warren Wilson College.

  • True Characters in 'True Detective'

    Alright, alright, alright, as of last Sunday True Detective is over. It has been a great eight weeks of watching these two swinging dicks mix it up against a sweaty backdrop of Louisiana, faith, and murder.

  • The Blurring of Fact and Imagination in 'Sway'

    Sway, by Zachary Lazar, is a swirling and episodic novel that incorporates the Rolling Stones circa 1969, the avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and Manson Family associate Bobby Beausoleil in a dizzying but effective exploration of the rise and fall of 1960s mysticism.

  • Revisiting 'Twin Peaks'

    Recently, I’ve been hearing a whole lot about David Lynch, and not from the Lynch camp or concerning any new projects. Rather, I’ve been hearing about Lynch from people who have been re-watching Lynch’s work, especially Twin Peaks.

  • 'Hollywood and God' Reveals the Dark Side of Tinsel Town

    Robert Polito's Hollywood and God explores the spiritual state of the country by examining its most popular medium of entertainment through poetry, the country's most underappreciated form of artistic expression.

  • The Capote Character

    Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was the first of its kind—a true crime story written as beautifully as a novel. In contrast to his previous novels, Capote allowed his own character to slip into the background, to focus on murderer Perry Smith. But was Perry just another alte…

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman's Light Touch

    Philip, like Marlon Brando, had innate power. Year after year, he hit us with constant magic—veiling a hurricane of emotion and humanity underneath a soft-spoken exterior.

  • Werner Herzog Writes Poetry with Film

    I just worked on the film Queen of the Desert with Werner Herzog and I was enthralled by his process, which is rich, self-taught, and both new and old school.

  • What of the Ottava Rima in Byron’s 'Don Juan'?

    Regardless of how or why Byron decided on ottava rima for Don Juan, the form undoubtedly influenced the poem's content through tone, pace, and lineation.