by Kevin Jagernauth
May 13, 2013 2:34 PM 12 Comments
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 first trailer for the film has arrived and the first thing that pops out is the gorgeous cinematography of frequent Franco collaborator Christina Voros (she directed "kink," which he produced). While we had our doubts about the voice over, it seems to be a device that will be used by all the characters in the movie, not just Franco, who shows off his Southern drawl. It looks grimy, gritty and intense as well, though we wonder when rape/sexual violence (is that what that brief scene is?) got a pass to appear in trailers. Anyway...
We'll see how this all turns out when it unspools at Cannes in about a week. Watch below. [The Film Stage]