Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

SXSW '12: Jack Black Talks Musical Aspects Of 'Frank Or Francis' & Says Charlie Kaufman's Film Has "A Powerfully Surrealistic Tone"

The Playlist By Todd Gilchrist | The Playlist March 15, 2012 at 10:05AM

After high-profile roles in commercial fare such as “School Of Rock,” “Nacho Libre” and “The Big Year,” Jack Black has tapped into a series of smaller and more idiosyncratic opportunities, starting with Richard Linklater’s true-crime dramedy “Bernie.” But the comedian and actor has even bigger challenges on the horizon with “Frank Or Francis,” Charlie Kaufman’s follow-up to his 2008 film “Synecdoche, New York.” While appearing at the SXSW Film Festival for the local premiere of “Bernie,” Black revealed he didn’t know how soon shooting was set to begin, but he characterized the film to The Playlist as an incisive portrait of celebrity culture.
0
Jack Black

After high-profile roles in commercial fare such as “School Of Rock,” “Nacho Libre” and “The Big Year,” Jack Black has tapped into a series of smaller and more idiosyncratic opportunities, starting with Richard Linklater’s true-crime dramedy “Bernie.” But the comedian and actor has even bigger challenges on the horizon with “Frank Or Francis,” Charlie Kaufman’s follow-up to his 2008 film “Synecdoche, New York.” While appearing at the SXSW Film Festival for the local premiere of “Bernie,” Black revealed he didn’t know how soon shooting was set to begin, but he characterized the film to The Playlist as an incisive portrait of celebrity culture.

“It’s really an incredible look at our entertainment-obsessed society,” Black said Wednesday in Austin. “It’s the most original film about Hollywood that I’ve ever read. I love it and I’m very excited about it.”

Black, of course, is no stranger to music-oriented entertainment, having spent more than a decade as one half of the rock & roll act Tenacious D. But despite reports that “Frank Or Francis” is “set to music,” he said that he’s not yet sure how extensive it might be. “It’s a musical, but I don’t know how much of it will be sung and how much will just be spoken,” Black explained. “I haven’t heard the music yet; that’s still in production.”

Black describes the film as an art-imitating-life tale of the relationship between film bloggers and the people whom they write about. “The character is a blogger, a guy who’s obsessed with a particular filmmaker and feels that he’s better than that filmmaker,” he revealed. “[He] feels that that filmmaker who everyone hails as the greatest writer-director of our time basically does not live up to his personal heroes, who are totally obscure European filmmakers that no one’s ever heard of -- that are mostly made up by Charlie Kaufman.”

Fans of “Synecdoche, New York” recognize that much of that film's appeal lies in its sophisticated, dreamlike, metatextual folds, even if deciphering them is a challenge for many mainstream moviegoers. When asked whether “Frank Or Francis” would follow the same challenging direction taken by 'Synecdoche' or be (comparatively) more accessible, like the films Kaufman made with Spike Jonze, “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation,” Black said "Frank Or Francis" shouldn’t be a total brain-scrambler.

“It’s more accessible in that ‘Synecdoche’ was very much going in and out of a dream state,” he said. “It was more of a science fiction that it never could [exist] outside of the realm of possibility. This one feels slightly more rooted in reality, but it still has a powerfully surrealistic tone.” Black added that it offers a particularly savvy dissection of the obsessive attention that celebrity-worship inspires. “There’s some just beautifully written examinations of celebrity as a mental illness that blow my mind.”

“He’s always blown my mind,” Black added. “He’s always been my favorite writer, so it’s a thrill to be working on something like that.”

"Bernie" opens on April 27th.

This article is related to: SXSW Film Festival, Jack Black, Frank Or Francis


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates