A firm believer that the undocumented life is not worth documenting, James Franco has apparently spent the past year participating in a documentary about James Franco, which will tirelessly document James Franco as he tirelessly documents himself. The Wrap reports that the project hails from first-time director Lisa Vangellow, who studied at UCLA film school under the guidance of James Franco (an education that gave her all the training necessary to film James Franco). Vangellow—who also served as a producer on the short film Smoke, executive produced by James Franco—used these various Franconnections to gain access to Franco’s “notoriously secretive social circle.” For example, the frustratingly tight-lipped Seth Rogen, who only talks about James Franco if asked.
According to Vangellow’s website, the film will be titled Franco. A Documentary, in order to differentiate it from Franco’s own, ongoing Franco. A Construct project. And according to its synopsis, it will “examine the incredible stamina and work ethic that James Franco possesses and how he incorporates this into his various areas of artistic interest”—specifically, Franco’s academic pursuits, his acting on screen and on Broadway, and his dabbling in the art world, various exampled of which Vangellow has been diligently cataloging Franco diligently catalog them.
That Franco has, all this time, been providing material for a movie about his life could explain some of his more recent behavior—for example, hitting on a 17-year-old girl over Instagram, calling New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley a “little bitch,” and most recently, plagiarizing nude sketches of Seth Rogen made by artist Christopher Schulz. And tellingly, Franco offered the following explanation of that last incident on this morning’s Today show, creating a scene that seems intended to be a poignant twist in Franco. A Documentary:
Some other artist took it upon himself to do these sketches of Seth in the nude. Seth didn’t pose for them. But this artist depicted Seth, and he wouldn’t have gotten much attention for these sketches, except that he put Seth’s face on it. And so I felt like, oh here he is appropriating Seth’s personality and his persona for his art to get attention for his art, and I thought, well, if anybody should paint Seth naked, it should be me, so I took his sketches and did paintings.
Similarly, Lisa Vangellow wouldn’t have gotten much attention for her first film, except that she put James Franco’s face on it; and here she is appropriating Franco’s personality and his persona for her art to get attention for her art. So no doubt this interview will turn out to be the pivotal scene in Franco. A Documentary, when James Franco decides that if anybody should make a documentary about James Franco, it should be James Franco, and so he turns the tables and begins filming Franco. A Documentary: A Documentary By Franco. And, when at last James Franco stands before a mirror, filming James Franco filming James Franco, we will have finally reached Francompletion.