Sunday, April 21, 2013

Harmony Korine and James Franco in conversation with Marc Maron: Taste, performance art and playing a character

'Spring Breakers' Harmony Korine and James Franco
in conversation with Marc Maron on a live WTF in Austin
Marc Maron talks to renaissance man James Franco about how much of his projects are genuine. As someone who navigates the world of Blockbuster movies, Arthouse, Soap Operas, Tabloids and Art, Marc tries to understand where Franco's "performance" starts and ends:
WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 374 - James Franco, Harmony Korine, Nate Bargatze, Peter Sagal
MARC MARON: (1h 06m 30s) Why did you do the 'General Hospital' thing was that an experiment?
HARMONY KORINE: You just wanna ask why he does so much shit
MARC MARON: No no because after he hosted the Academy Awards, afterwards people were like "Is he f*cking around?" What was going on with that. You do the General Hospital thing and you make a documentary on that. Where does the goof end?
JAMES FRANCO: There's just different levels of engagement. There's no reason not to be able to do all different sides. When I go and act in a film like 'Oz'. I Play the Wizard of Oz and the goof ends. I wanna fit in that world. I'm not trying to wink at the audience and say hey its me the actor behind the character. I want that character to fit into that world. But as soon as I'm done with that project there's no reason why I have to stand behind the facades of these characters and be noone...
MARON: So when you were doing the General Hospital thing, was that funny to you?
FRANCO: I mean it started off like as you said an experiment. I was talking to an artist friend of mine and we were gonna do a movie where my character had formerly been in a Soap Opera. And that got us talking about "Hey what if you were really in a Soap Opera?". And I'd also been reading this book by this guy called Carl Wilson called something like 'Journey to the End of Taste'... the conclusion he gets is that different people get different things from art or culture...
It strikes me that Franco is embodying the privilege that Camus envisions of the Actor in 'Myth of Sisyphus', someone who truly embraces the absurdity of life. Marc in typical comedic fashion takes a shot at Franco for being too precious but to the Actor's credit Franco reiterates the importance of "staying in character".
JAMES FRANCO: (1h 11m) Before I went on, I thought "Oh am I going to have to act Soap Opera style?". And when I got there, a big lesson for me was how important context is and how context transforms a performance...
MARC MARON: And sometimes you just can't transcend the context
FRANCO: No it transforms you. You can never transcend the context to a certain extent and nor do you really want to. If you're trying to transcend the context then you're just making the movie about you and your performance. I see movies as a Director's medium, I always want to serve the Director and the film so I don't want to transcend the context, its just that sometimes the context is weird 
VIDEO: Marc Maron Talks Accidentally Offending James Franco During Live 'WTF' Podcast At SXSW

Find other Marc Maron posts below:
- AV Club's Nathan Rabin talks about Podcast Culture on Marc Maron's 300th episode of WTF
- Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
- Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"
- Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.

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