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In Directing Herbert White James Franco writes about making a film of Frank Bidart’s poem, Herbert White.
Though the main character, Herbert White is a necrophiliac, and a killer, the poem – and the
film – are an expression of life’s isolation and loneliness. A poem became a film.
In the rest of book, Franco uses poems to express what he feels about film: about acting; about the actors he admires – James Dean, Marlon Brando, Sean Penn; about the cult of celebrity and his struggles with it; about his teenage years in Palo Alto, and about mortality prompted by the death of his father.
These preoccupations are handled with a simplicity and directness that recalls the work of Frank O’Hara.
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