Carter, Erased James Franco

When: Sun., Sept. 6, 4:30 p.m., Thu., Sept. 10, 8:30 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 13, 4:30 p.m. 2009

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It wasn’t that long ago that James Franco was one more dismissible pretty boy—everyone thought his natural, doofy performance as a high school rebel in Freaks and Geeks was probably a fluke, and everyone also thought his stilted readings in Spider-Man and Annapolis were yet more proof that Franco was one more chiseled, half-talented twentysomething trying his damndest to become a leading man. But then two Franco performances came along, both last year: There was Gus Van Sant’s Milk, in which Franco played the long-suffering lover of Harvey Milk, and there was David Gordon Green’s Pineapple Express, in which Franco played the always-stoned pal of Seth Rogen. Both performances were nothing short of extraordinary, hilarious and bittersweet and touching, and evidence that having gained some distance from his attempts at being a matinee idol, Franco could show off some serious chops. Multimedia artist Carter’s film Erased James Franco takes its title from a 1953 Rauschenberg work, "Erased de Kooning," and features Franco, alone, reenacting several scenes from his past performances, as well as a scene or two in which he reenacts scenes from other’s performances (including Julianne Moore’s from Todd Haynes’ Safe). Like much arthouse cinema, this runs the risk of being goofy and navel-gazey, but you should probably go to this. As my tattoo says, “Don’t underestimate the Franco.” EH

Price: $6/7

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