I just rewatched this racial melodrama for a film class I’m taking and it has certainly lost some of the prestige that I had originally put on it as an intellectual and hip 11 year old, yet even though its very heavy handed on message, which is still a very relevant and important one, without actually exploring any ways to combat the issue (though, I guess admitting to our prejudices is the first step…), I still think the performances are good, even if the way they are written isn’t always so, and certain images are still very powerful.
Gone With the Wind (1939), Victor Fleming (uncredited: George Cukor and Sam Wood)
It is clear to see why this film became and remains the highest grossing film domestically of all time (adjusted, of course) because it really is a beautiful film visually, especially when watched on the big screen, so I did overall enjoy the experience of seeing the film in theaters exactly how people did 75 years ago during its initial release, but I also got very bored towards the end, and Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) is such a frustrating character…
While Frank is certainly charming and darkly comedic throughout its run time, I did begin to question what the point of it all was and began to worry that it would be nothing more than an offbeat and forgettable look at the creative sprit, but then the final scene happens, with Michael Fassbender delivering a hauntingly subtle expression of simultaneous happiness, confusion, sadness, and more, and it all just sort of makes sense.
I think James Franco succeeds the most behind the camera when he produces and/or directs documentaries because I do think he has a interesting point of view on life, so mix his skills in this genre with a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating an episode of Saturday Night Live and I’m sold, so I’m happy to say that I think Franco succeeded in capturing the stress and delight that goes into continuing the legacy that is SNL.
This early example of docufiction film is exactly what you’d expect it to be, which is a young man filming aspects of his life, including his relationship and goals for his experiment, in his hometown of NYC, and it’s quite an interesting little gem, plus I imagine it may be even more influential now considering the act of filming oneself, one’s life, and one’s surroundings has become a much more common form of artful expression.