Tuesday, March 3, 2015

James Franco publishes short story collection, Danny Boyle does spit-take

The Oscar-winning director of the new true-life drama "127 Hours" waxes amused and awed about his multi-tasking star, James Franco.

James Franco publishes short story collection, Danny Boyle does spit-take

Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours – the amazingly cinematic account of real-life climber Aron Ralston’s ordeal, trapped in a crevice in a Utah canyon – has its gala premiere at the Philadelphia Film Festival on Sunday night, and then opens locally on Nov. 12. Its star, in case you haven’t heard, is one James Franco -- the famously busy thespian who seems to be enrolled in about five or six colleges, is pursuing various masters and doctorates, paints, played Allen Ginsberg in Howl and just finished the Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Apes.

And, oh, he has a collection of short stories, Palo Alto, just out from Scribner. We showed the book to Boyle when he was in town recently, and the Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire laughed.
“It’s funny,” says the ebullient Brit. “A guy I know at Faber & Faber in Britain, a big publishing house, he rang me up -- this is after we shot the movie, I’m almost finished the editing, and he says, ‘Hey, we’re publishing James’ book.’ And I said, ‘Oh, are you?’ And he said, “Yeah, I just wanted to get a quote from you about his stories.’ And I said `I didn’t even know he was writing short stories!’
“I mean, James is extraordinary. But what’s weird about him -- and he was like this when I first met him -- he gives this impression of being stoned, like half-asleep, so relaxed that you start to think Am I here? Can he see me? And yet, clearly — and this book is just more evidence of the fact — his problem, if he has one, is hyper-activity. His brain is in overdrive."
Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at srea@phillynews.com.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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