James Franco’s New Memoir Is Full of Instagram Photos

A collage from James Franco's multimedia memoir, "Hollywood Dreaming: Stories, Pictures and Poems".

James Franco is at it again. The actor, writer, professor, and Cindy Sherman wannabe has released Hollywood Dreaming: Stories, Pictures and Poems, a fiction-infused memoir that takes the form of an amalgamation of prose, poetry, art, and Instragram photos.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the book hit shelves on September 23, and some of it is quite racy. Eschewing the “art book” genre as well as the conventions of a typical Hollywood memoir, Franco attempts to blur the line between reality and fiction. The resulting plot is described by Amazon thusly: “The escapades of a jaded Hollywood insider counter a series of inter-connected stories about a boy named Shrimp and the hopeful young actor he becomes. Each piece of the story, whether visual or textual, thoughtfully peels away another layer of the book’s protagonist, whose character unfolds like a Russian nesting doll.”

From the six pages that can be previewed online, it’s hard to tell if this will be a successful Franco vehicle (see Spring Breakers) or a disturbing misfiring of creative energy (see “James Franco’s Terrible Nude Paintings of Seth Rogen Get Gallery Show“). Only time—and hopefully some colorful Amazon reviews—will tell, but unfortunately, our bets are hedged on the latter.

Franco, for his part, had this to say of the work: “I would even argue that this isn’t a book, it’s a movie in words and pictures; an autobiography told as fiction by fictional versions of real people; a collage trying to be a linear reflection of a life that is collage in nature; a clear reflection in a smashed mirror—look at the reflection, but also look at all the pretty cracks!”


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