Here Is James Franco's First Try At Fashion Photography


Actor, director, Yale Ph.D. candidate, University of Houston Ph.D. enrollee, Oscar nominee, Oscars co-host, author, phone-thrower, General Hospital star, commencement speaker, master craftsman, licensed pilot, and apprentice cordwainer James Franco, B.A., M.F.A., D.D.S., J.D., 007, R.N., C.P.A., and M.B.A. (hons.) has added another professional accomplishment to his modest repertoire of pursuits: fashion photographer. The artist known as Franco shot the model formerly known as Laura Hollins in the persona of James Dean for Elle magazine. These are the results. They are perhaps best enjoyed alongside lines from Franco’s short story “Just Before The Black,” which was published last year in Esquire.

Me and Joe, we just sit.

We’re out in front of the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course pro shop. It’s a tan building with white trim. It’s where Joe and I work during the day.

We’re stopped for no reason except that the night is still going and we’re drunk, and who wants to go home, ever, and this spot is as good as any to just sit in the shadows and let life slow.

I often think about driving off the side of freeway overpasses.

I love driving down an empty dark freeway, lit up intermittently by the lights at the side of the road, and when I see the lights, I think of all the little worlds out there, all the little animals living in their habitats out there, and how we could pull over and have an adventure at any one of these forgotten pockets of the world, just nothing zones, backwash refuse property in the wake of the great freeways, and I like passing all of them, racing down the freeway, like a tunnel into the night, and racing but still being able to carry on a whole action scene with Joe, and I think it is like life, because I am racing, and time is pushing me forward and it’s not going to stop and I will have a few passengers in the vehicle with me, and it’s either enjoy the scenery together, or listen to some music we both like, or maybe just have a little poking knife game because you want to know if the other person is really there.

We are going to see Hector over at Foothill, the junior college where I go to night school. He lives near there and sells us shit, and we’re supposed to meet him in the corner of the parking lot. Hector isn’t a scary guy, he has a nice-guy face, but he could probably fuck somebody up if he wanted to.

“Hector would fuck you up,” says Joe.

“Not if I stabbed him in the stomach,” I say, and I’m reaching under my seat with my left hand as I say this, and I pull out a foot-long kitchen knife and then I point it at Joe while I’m still driving.

I think about the little dragon that the bong is and I so wish that dragons were real.

“What’s the difference?” says Hector. “Because I am going in, and she is being got inside of.”

“And why is one better? Why does going inside make you better? Aren’t you like on her turf inside her, isn’t she in control of you? Like a mommy with her little baby making him feel good?”

“Because,” says Hector. But he doesn’t say anything else.

On the way home Joe and I are driving down the empty freeway. It’s like two-thirty in the morning and we’re still pretty high, and if I look up, directly at the road lights above us, I can see kaleidoscopic rainbows building and turning on top of each other in the core of the bulbs.

Chateau Dreams [Elle]

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