February 20, 2011

Notes From BIFF 2011: James Franco. ~ René Cousineau

An awesome picture of James Franco from the BIFF program.  I think he’s wearing a leather vest?

Yes, we all know that James Franco is good looking…

Most of us are also aware of the fact that he wears many different hats in the entertainment industry: actor, producer, director, writer… we know. So why, when he finally came to the stage after screening his new short film along with a reel of oddly chosen clips from his past projects (a clip from each Spiderman?), didn’t Ron Bostwick ask him any questions we don’t already know the answers to?

Or rather, why were Bostwick’s “conversation” notes essentially just a list of flattering comments and observations disguised as “questions” meant only to butter up the celebrity? And on that note, with all of the pushing and shoving and general disrespect taking place in the line at the Boulder Theater, you’d think Boulder has never hosted a celebrity before. I was excited about Franco because he seems like a regular guy. Granted, he has the resources to attend several different prestigious schools, studying an array of different art-related subjects. And he’s a movie star. But all of that aside, I guess I was excited to find out how down-to-earth James Franco actually is.

He, in reality, is very soft-spoken and down-to-earth. But he seemed to be having the same reactions to the ridiculous “questions” being asked of him as I did. I wish I could go into detail about what was discussed during this “conversation,” but I’m afraid I’ve already covered it. James Franco is a busy and good-looking movie star.

Meanwhile, every college-aged girl in the place was all gussied up, as if Franco was going to be trolling the crowd after his appearance for the most scantily-clad 19 year-old girl to take home. From where I was sitting, I could hardly hear anything he was saying over the giddy whispers and incessant giggling. And the mothers of these girls weren’t any better. During the audience Q&A, all I could hear—literally—was a forty-something woman whisper-shouting “Boxers or briefs?” and, “Ask him if he has a girlfriend?”

So: Dear James Franco, I apologize to you for your having been treated like a piece of meat at the Boulder International Film Festival, I’m sure that this was not BIFF’s intention. I wish I could’ve heard you speak more about film… and for that matter, I wish I could’ve heard you speak more all together. But we were too busy kissing your ass.

On a high note, Aron Ralston’s introduction of Franco was pretty great. It was cool to have that community connection and Ralston spoke genuinely and with great affection for our guest. It was a complete surprise, and a very pleasant one at that.

René Cousineau was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, CO. She currently lives in Boulder and is a student of fiction writing and Russian literature. She spends her time reading, cleaning, hiking, dancing, and slinging cupcakes at a local bakery/coffee shop.

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