James Franco Unveils Plans for 10-Part TV Series on Art

Posted by Brian Brooks on 8.21.2013

James Franco is perhaps best known as an actor, though many have caught some of his work behind the camera. But Franco can also boast other titles on his packed resume including screenwriter, producer, teacher and author. He is also a PhD candidate at Yale and he is debuting his latest directorial at the 51st New York Film Festival. Now Franco will add television host to his cache of accomplishments.

Franco teased Tuesday via Twitter and Instagram that he is planning a new show for arts cable network, Ovation TV, according to Deadline.com. Titled James Franco Presents, the program will be a one-hour weekly series. Franco revealed the news in text imposed over an altered version of Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream," with his smiling face replacing the Norwegian artist's iconic image. The 10-episode series will explore "art everywhere in our lives," and will begin in November.

Deadline noted that the the show will document Franco's "explorations of the world of art, from his gallery exhibits to his students’ films." The program will also give his P.O.V. on personal passion projects that have yet to be seen by the public, including thousands of hours from the actor's personal video libraries and footage from his art films.

His latest project isn't exactly his first foray into the art world. In 2011, Franco screened Unfinished, a collaboration with director Gus Van Sant, which played at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, which featured reedited footage from Van Sant's 1991 drama My Own Private Idaho, spotlighting late actor River Phoenix's sullen performance. Noted Indiewire's Eric Kohn on the project at the time, "Franco picks up on the 'private' qualities implied by the project's title, sketching Phoenix/Max as a somber introvert with a playfulness just beneath the surface."

In related news, James Franco's collaboration with filmmaker Travis Mathews, Interior. Leather Bar. will hit theaters following its festival run courtesy of Strand Releasing later this year or early 2014. The film, which debuted at Sundance earlier this year, is inspired by  40 minutes of deleted gay S&M footage from William Friedkin's 1980 film Cruising. The film will screen at the upcoming NewFest, the New York LGBT Film Festival. The festival will also feature kink, a film he produced for director Cristina Voros.

Franco will also debut his latest film, Child Of God, adapted from Cormac McCarthy's 1973 novel about an unstable sociopath who descends into an animal-like state, at the 51st New York Film Festival.

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