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The Playlist

Cannes Review: Admirable Ambition Isn't Enough For James Franco's 'As I Lay Dying'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2013 11:25 AM
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  • 5 Comments
As I Lay Dying, James Franco
To be certain, James Franco has never been lacking in ambition. From the meta quasi-doc "Francophrenia (Or Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is)" to the Hart Crane biopic "The Broken Tower" to the kinky "Interior. Leather Bar." to the primate co-starring "The Ape," Franco has leapt into filmmaking, taking on challenges and narrative most other filmmakers wouldn't dare to attempt. And while there is something to admire in the ambition of the 35 year-old actor/writer/director's latest venture, "As I Lay Dying," it never amounts to much more than a curiosity.

Watch: First Trailer For James Franco's Cannes Contender 'As I Lay Dying

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 13, 2013 2:34 PM
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  • 12 Comments
As I Lay Dying
Tackling an adaptation of a William Faulkner novel, featuring no less than fifteen different characters, in a narrative that doesn't lend itself easily to a cinematic interpretation would be a challenge for anybody. But not everybody is James Franco. In the past year, he's dropped a documentary about a porn site and another inspired by deleted scenes from William Friedkin's "Cruising," so "As I Lay Dying" is right in his wheelhouse of ambitious fare. The fact that it has been included in the Cannes Film Festival lineup as part of the Un Certain Regard slate appears to mean he's done his job and pulled it off, and now you can judge for yourself.

The Playlist's 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2013 Cannes Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 9, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Cannes 2013, header
With the actual schedule released today (cue charts and diagrams as attendees try to work out how to be in eight places at one time), the final pieces are falling into place for this year's Cannes Film Festival, and it's shaping up to be a terrific couple of weeks. The initial lineup was already impressive, but the addition of a couple of titles we were surprised not to see in the original announcement has made the selection even more an embarrassment of riches. As such, we were hard pressed to pick a top ten, but finally settled on the following choices, that, along with the honorable mentions, we feel represent the strongest of what is a very solid lineup. It should be noted that there's a great showing by the U.S. in this selection, as there is for French-language movies, which is reflective of the festival overall. With Steven Spielberg the head of the Cannes Competition jury too, it feels like Franco-American relations are at an all-time high, cinematically speaking at least.

First Look At Danny McBride & More New Pics From James Franco's 'As I Lay Dying'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 5, 2013 9:56 AM
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  • 6 Comments
As I Lay Dying, James Franco
Among the many filmmakers and actors packing their bags for Cannes this year is James Franco, because nary a festival can go by with something by the multitasking polymath being in the mix. And this year, the south of France will be getting his adaptation of William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying," which looks to be a bit more than just an art goof by Daniel Desario.

First Look At James Franco's Cannes Contender 'As I Lay Dying'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 27, 2013 12:01 PM
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  • 5 Comments
It seems a film festival can't go by without a project starring, produced, directed or breathed on by James Franco unspooling. The ever busy multitasker seems to have his fingers in a dozen different pies at any one time, but even then, many were surprised to find "As I Lay Dying" slated for Cannes in the Un Certain Regard category. Certainly, Franco already has more than a few films under his belt as a director, but this is definitely the splashiest premiere any of his movies have received, and now an advance peek is here.

'Only God Forgives,' 'Nebraska,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'The Past' & More Lead Official Selection For 2013 Cannes Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 18, 2013 5:56 AM
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  • 26 Comments
As usual, sifting the actual fact from the speculation when it comes to the line-up of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival has been a little tricky. We know the opener -- Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," the closer -- "Zulu," with Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom, and as of yesterday, the Un Certain Regard headliner, in the shape of Sofia Coppola's "Bling Ring."

Glenn Close, James Franco & Brit Marling Have ‘The Grace That Keeps This World’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 11, 2012 4:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment
A legend, a hipster multi-hyphenate, and a rising star and filmmaker all coming together? Could be something special or...something else, but "Terri" director Azazel Jacobs is certainly raising the bar for his next effort.

Danny McBride, Logan Marshall-Green & Ahna O'Reilly Join James Franco's 'As I Lay Dying'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • August 21, 2012 9:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
For all his prolific work across a number of mediums, James Franco's ability to write and direct is, for the most part, still an unknown quantity. He's done a few shorts, and two documentaries, but his three feature films so far -- the comedy "The Ape," the Sal Mineo biopic "Sal," and Hart Crane tale "The Broken Tower" -- haven't exactly become big hits or critical favorites. However, his latest endeavor might change that.

Paul Dano Confirms He Tested For ‘Akira,’ Says Someone Like Rian Johnson Should Direct

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 20, 2012 4:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment
One of the busier actors in show business has to be twenty-eight year-old Paul Dano. Having turned heads in the moody indie “L.I.E.” when he was only sixteen years old, it was only years later before he was able to stand toe-to-toe with Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood,” cementing his status as a fresh face that wasn’t going anywhere. His latest role is in “For Ellen,” where he plays a rock musician struggling to regain custody of his daughter. However, one look at what’s happened to the others films he’s been linked to in recent months casts a clearer picture of just how in demand he has been, and how opportunities can sometimes fall by the wayside for a variety of reasons.

5 "Unfilmable" Novels That Became Movies & 5 More That Are On The Way

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 17, 2012 11:59 AM
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  • 23 Comments
Like a red rag to a bull, the term "unfilmable novel" elicits about the same reaction for filmmakers as it does for Chief Wiggum in "The Simpsons" when he tells Ralph not to go into "the forbidden closet of mystery." Some of the greatest works of literature have been deemed, correctly or not, as unfilmable, and yet writers, directors, producers and stars keep trying, either developing such projects for years with no success, or very occasionally getting the films financed, usually with mixed success.

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