Directing Herbert White

Title:
Directing Herbert White
Poems
James Franco
Price$15.00
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“A strong, artful poetry collection . . . that casually yet majestically conjures the icons, ironies, and infamies of Hollywood’s celebrity culture via the striking imagery and insider wisdom of poems that read like “a little film festival in your mind.”Elle Magazine
“Poetry is the weak sister of its sibling arts, alternately ignored and swaddled like a 19th-century invalid, and that will change only by means of a long, tedious and possibly futile effort at persuasion. Perhaps it’s a blessing to have James Franco on one’s side in that struggle.”—David Orr, The New York Times Book Review

About the Book

The debut poetry collection by actor, director, and writer James Franco

I’m a nocturnal creature,

And I’m here to cheat time.

You can see time and exhaustion

Taking pay from my face—

 

In fifty years

My sleep will be death,

I’ll go like the rest,

But I’ll have played

 

All the games and all the roles.

—from “Nocturnal”
“There’s never been a book quite like this. Hollywood—fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist—is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget.”—Frank Bidart
 
“A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco’s poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk’s lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanence. We leave the movie theater a little wiser.”—Anne Waldman
 

Additional Reviews

"Surprisingly vivid. . . . The best of these poems are works no one else could have written, bright reflections on the author’s ambitiously dizzying time in the spotlight—or is it a hall of mirrors?"--Publishers Weekly
"Franco's bold and magnetic examination of life in the mirrored hall of make-believe and fame taps deeply into our collective mythology."Booklist
“A piece of art that captures the essence of Tinseltown.”C Magazine
“Whether he is writing of Hollywood, acting or directing, his family or childhood, Franco reminds us that every life is a precious referendum on the eternal question of meaning. These poems are a satisfying and courageous answer to that question as they help us with our life-long quest to understand not only the human condition but how to endure it with dignity.”The Journal (West Virginia)
"There's never been a book quite like this. Hollywood—fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist—is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget."—Frank Bidart
"In its strongest moments, this book explores vanity with a keen sense of discernment and revels in its narcissism."Diagram