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James Franco on Shia Labeouf recent antics


Stashed in: Rising meets Risen, @jamesfrancotv, Film & Cinema

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Are they friends? This seems like James Franco warning Shia, rather than defending him.

no idea, but the ending certainly does seem like a warning. 

Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control. Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on.

Participating in this call and response is a kind of critique, a way to show up the media by allowing their oversize responses to essentially trivial actions to reveal the emptiness of their raison d’être. Believe me, this game of peek-a-boo can be very addictive.

Mr. LaBeouf has been acting since he was a child, and often an actor’s need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult. I think Mr. LaBeouf’s project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist.

Yeah, see, I'm not sure what James Franco's goal is here.

Other than to warn Shia that people have a low tolerance for narcissists mired in self-pity.

is it really self-pity, or merely commentary that he knows will stir the public? That he has fame means he has a pedestal from which to renounce his fame, which, in itself, is an empty act, however honest and satirical/sarcastic it may be.

I think Franco is explaining what happened (offering a suggestion) from a point of view that only he and his acting peers possess. TMZ, tabloid, ET, and the fickle public opinion that support/demand it all.

If we vilify LaBeouf, then it means he is acting out of the role that WE have placed him in, despite his REAL life, as our entertainment regardless of when he is LeBeouf or as a fictional character -- as if he was our little monkey misbehaving. A damning indictment of society.

If we ignore or dismiss it as an actor serving his own narcissism, another news byte headline, then we miss out on the inevitable conversation.

Art is best when it questions and causes questions about itself, when it brings to light the ironic power of its own existence and the people who traffic it as manipulators and consumers. Media and Persona are very complex, psychologically, and these conversations are the only thing that do the subject justice. This is not unlike Banksy's themes.

This is Sociology 1; and while this is an example of an actor who's coming a bit late to the game of public shenanigans, he still has the balls to play, and on the most public stage (and in contrast, everything else on the carpet is just so bland, planned, and linear).

Because, in the grand farce of life, what better to do than watch the sheep be confused?

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