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“I don’t think most poets get movies out”

May 1, 2009

Everyone’s favorite MFA student with a book contract, James Franco, is also an aspiring film maker, making films inspired by gay poetry including Anthony Hecht’s “The Feast of Stephen” and Frank Bidart’s “Herbert White.”  Franco was introduced to Bidart’s work during his poetry studies at Warren Wilson.  Says Franco:

This teacher brought it into class, and everybody was kinda shocked. It’s very dark and it’s about this guy. He’s a murderer, a necrophiliac, and it’s in a poem, right? […] What struck me is that it’s a kind of a confessional poem, or a dramatic monologue. It’s as if the poet is using this crazy man as a mask to express certain feelings and go to an extreme place where those feelings could be felt.

After meeting Bidart through his NYU professor, Franco remarks:

Nobody was really beating down his door to make a movie out of it—I don’t think most poets get movies out.

Quit your snickering, bitches, Franco’s in this poetry thing for serious:

I got a poetry honorable mention at UCLA […] It just sounds like, ‘Oh, the actor’s doing poetry,’ […] In that sense, it seems ridiculous to me. But I’m taking it as seriously as I can. I’m not calling up some café and saying, ‘Hey! I’m James Franco, I’m going to read the poetry I wrote about my motorcycle.’ I mean, I’m working with real poets. I’m doing it in as serious a way as I can.”

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