James Franco’s The Sound and the Fury

Posted 8 years ago by myetvmedia

A director can choose to make a movie, co-write the screenplay and star in it, to showcase one’s talents for those in the industry, or you can make a movie packaged for an audience where most people will understand it. Or, as it seems in Franco’s case, ‘As I Lay Dying’ could be labeled a pet-project which by circumstance shows off his emerging talent and refined directing skills to an industry that is notorious for pigeonholing its stars, but what remains a question mark is whether Faulkner’s work can come off the page and to life on the screen. ‘As I Lay Dying’ (the novel) contains biting social commentary and lots of dark comedy, whereas some feel Franco’s adaptation, the sullen, sulky-ness of the characters left people feeling dreary and unimpressed. Faulkner’s books have so much depth and layering one could approach an adaptation from a multitude of angles; Franco would have to narrow his focus for film and accentuate specific aspects of the piece, and as in all adaptations of great novels, it’s usually never enough. One can admire Franco’s courage in tackling Faulkner, treading where others have failed as in Martin Ritt’s own forgettable adaptation of the ‘Sound and the Fury’ (1959) and Tony Richardson’s ‘Sanctuary’ (1961). For this newly ambitious turn, smart cast choices have been made for ‘The Sound and the Fury” with Franco taking a starring role as Benjy Compson; his brother Dave will play Danny McBride and Tim Blake Nelson from Franco’s previous literary adaptation will also have a main role. People may be surprised at the choice of Danny McBride but in ‘As I Lay Dying’ his serious and heartfelt performance against character was lauded by many. Jon Hamm has been confirmed to play Mr. Compson and Seth Rogen is listed as one of the principal actors. With a star-studded cast and a director strengthened by his previous adaptation experience of a great Faulkner work, Franco could not have made a better choice to unspool his latest quest in the city that has made him their Prince of the 21st Century.

The film ‘The Sound and the Fury” screens out of competition in Venice and then goes on to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF14). James Franco presents in Venice includes: Sal (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Palo Alto, Child of God (2013), The Sound and The Fury (2014).

Alfredo Romano

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James Franco’s The Sound and the Fury

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