James Franco: Shadow Colors

Ah, the James Franco phenomenon. Franco, in case one or two of you don’t know, is a moderately talented young actor who collects graduate programs. Having recently completed an MFA in writing at Columbia, he remains enrolled at NYU for filmmaking, Brooklyn College for fiction, Warren Wilson for poetry, and the Rhode Island School of Design. (Franco paints as well as writes, acts, makes films, etc.) He also started a PhD program at Yale last year in English literature, my old department, and plans to start another next fall at the University of Houston.

There are several possibilities here. Maybe Franco really is the second coming of Leonardo da Vinci. He would have to be, because if he were merely brilliant, doing even one of those programs properly would take his full energy. When I did my PhD at Columbia, I worked about 70 hours a week. I scarcely had time to see a movie, let alone make one. So maybe Franco’s got a Leonardo-level intellect, but here’s a line from one of his short stories: “The building is beige, but the shadows make it shadow-color.” So maybe not.


Re-posted with permission.

What are you looking for?