James Franco is enjoying something of a creative peak right now, he's got his fingers in more pies than he could ever hope to complete. This week alone he has more things going on than a lot of thesps have in a whole year. He is co-hosting the Academy Awards on Sunday night at the same time that he could potentially win his first Oscar for his performance in 127 Hours, when astonishingly the next day his return to the daily soap General Hospital will screen (that's gotta be the first time an Oscar host has followed-up with a daily Soap appearance!) and presumably next week he returns to his directing course at NYU. And without even touching on the dozens of acting attachments to his name right now - the most high profile being his leading role for Sam Raimi's The Great and Powerful Oz - comes word from Cinematical that Franco is about showcase two films he has made out of footage from Gus Van Sant's My Private Idaho, that he will exhibit show at a Gagosian Gallery show in L.A next week. Titled "Unfinished", the art exhibition will feature work from Franco and director Gus Van Sant and will run from February 26th to April 9th. The first of Franco's films is titled My Own Private River and it consists largely of shots of River Phoenixs character, Mike, woven into a compelling portrait of the late actor which will be accompanied by a score from R.E.M's Michael Stipe. The second and the most compelling is Endless Idaho, a film made out of unused outtakes, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and alternative takes and camera shots into a 12 hour (!) feature film about the workaday process of making a movie, from location scouting to repeated takes". Or in other words - a 12 HOUR MOVIE about the filmmaking process! I can't imagine anyone being so in love with My Private Idaho that they would need to see such an extensively produced documentary but if anyone was ever wanting a definitive account of the film, I think Franco & Van Sant have produced it here. Presumably, Criterion will get the idea to give it a new Blu-ray transfer? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA0U0otWuzE Here's the full press release;
For Endless Idaho, Franco edited outtakes, deleted scenes, alternate takes, and behind-the-scenes footage from My Own Private Idaho into a 12-hour film. Endless Idaho provides an unprecedented look into the workaday process of making a movie, from location scouting to repeated takes. Like many of the films of Andy Warhol, a major influence on Van Sants own auteur style, it is a provocative, often riveting blend of documentary and fiction. Interviews with actual hustlers who played secondary characters in My Own Private Idaho are intercut with shots of River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves improvising and refining their performances under the direction of Van Sant and his crew. The music for Endless Idaho was composed by Luke Paquin and Tim OKeefe. By contrast, My Own Private River consists largely of shots of Phoenix s character, Mike, woven into a compelling portrait. Franco describes being mesmerized by Phoenix s uninhibited acting in this unreleased footage, and his edit captures the gifted actor at his most emotionally expressive and physically dynamic. The score is by Michael Stipe, who is an art school drop-out.Visit the website for full details & event times on the show - www.gagosian.com. And seriously - what is Franco taking to have the time to do all this? At next year's Oscars, he might win the lifetime achievement award at just 33 years of age.