28 February 2011

Entire Planet Participates in James Franco’s Latest Art Project

HOLLYWOOD -- The Planet Earth unwittingly participated last night in James Franco’s latest art project, a still-untitled performance piece so elaborate, not even he understands it. Inspired by an invitation to host the 83rd Academy Awards Ceremony, Franco spent untold hours writing the worst possible material, and delivering the worst possible performance, to the point that most of the 41.3 million Americans watching (as well as countless others around the world) assumed he was stoned out of his gourd. Even co-host Anne Hathaway wasn’t told of Franco’s scheme until early this morning, Los Angeles time.

“I was very conscious that Anne and I are the youngest Oscar™ hosts in history,” Franco told me privately. “Of course, this means that we’ve been marked — not only by the Internet and other modern forms of communication, but also by the duet between Rob Lowe and Snow White, at the Oscar™ Ceremony in 1989. I felt we owed it to our generation to address that early trauma, and to overcome it, by doing something just as terrible. This is our generation’s Gettysburg, our Thermopylae: we must own it.

“Wait — no, let me rephrase that,” Franco continued. “We as a society place entirely too much importance on the Oscars™, at a time when, around the world, people are fighting for freedom, and starving, and dying. What does this say about our priorities as a society, as a species?

“No — wait — what I mean to say is that I’m seeking to compel a viewer to reexamine institutionalized rituals — listen, I gotta go now. Don’t wait up for me, babe.”

“I would have preferred it if Jib-Jib had let me in on the preparations,” Hathaway admitted. “I mean, come on! I know a few things about terrible material; I have a lot I could have contributed. Instead, I was out there giving it 110 percent, trying to pick up the slack. Boy, is my face red now.”

However, Hathaway conceded, the rest of the ceremony was so incredibly boring and predictable that people needed something to talk about. “Now they’ve got it,” she said.

Video footage of last night’s performance will be included in “Ceremonial Executions,” an ongoing interactive installation at the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, beginning in October 2011, and submitted as Franco’s doctoral thesis at the Rhode Island School of Design, whenever he remembers to apply for admission there.

Sadly, Franco was unable to find a Snow White costume,
and had to settle for this last-minute substitute.


Elaine Fine said...

Did you notice the "up close and personal" announcements of the nominees for the best actor and actress spots was kind of like what they do on those cooking shows:

"Bill," (camera pans to your face--everyone is supposed to know who you are, and you are kind of presented as "just folks") You awed us with your posts about Stratas and Graham. . . "

William V. Madison said...

Elaine, I confess I'm Oscar™-deprived in Europe, and so I missed out on this particular feature. (And yet somehow I carry on.)

Janice Hall said...

Oh, it's been predictable for years. But James Franco was a new low.
Can we go back and talk about Viveca Lindfors some more?

William V. Madison said...

A new low or a new Lowe?

One of these days I'll share my Vivica Lindfors story: I'm just trying to come up with the proper frame and the right timing.