Whether you love James Franco or can’t stand him, it can’t be denied that the man works hard. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate already — what with films including Oz: The Great and Powerful, Lovelace, Spring Breakers, and his directorial effort The Broken Tower all coming up, plus all of his non-movie projects — he’s now added Mapplethorpe, a biopic of the late photographer. The Tribeca-backed picture will be the first narrative feature by documentary director Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live in Public).

Franco will topline the cast as Robert Mapplethorpe, whose explicit works sparked debate over public funding for the arts in the late 1980s. Between this and Howl, it seems Franco’s becoming the go-to guy for historical movies about controversial artists. Timoner, Miles Levy, and Eliza Dushku will produce along with Nate Dushku (Eliza’s brother), who was lined up to play Mapplethorpe at one point before Franco came on board. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Emma Roberts refuses to let James Franco bail her out of jail.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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We Live in Public top

I’m not sure if the poster for Ondi Timoner‘s documentary We Live in Public is the first poster to feature quotes from Twitter, but it’s definitely the first poster I’ve seen quoting @ names.

I screened this film at Sundance, but never got the chance to write a review at the time. You can read David Chen’s review and interview with Timoner here. Any techie will probably want to check this out. The film tells the story of Josh Harris, an Internet pioneer who was ahead of his time, and founded the Internet’s first television network. But most interesting is the section where you learn about this project Harris curated and funded in an underground bunker in NYC where 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days at the turn of the millennium.

Back to the poster, the quotes aren’t really from random twitter users (for the most part). For example, @aplusk and @mrskutcher are both quoted, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore respectively. Also on the poster are tweets from Trent Reznor and our friend Scott from WeAreMovieGeeks. You can check out a new movie trailer from the film which appeared today on MySpace. Check out the full poster and new trailer after the jump.
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According to Ondi Timoner’s We Live in Public, Josh Harris is “the greatest internet pioneer you’ve never heard of.” Timoner’s documentary paints Harris as a man keenly attuned to the rapid advancements of the internet age, always one or two steps ahead of both the conventional wisdom as well as the prevailing technologies of his day. Harris made millions when he started internet data-analysis firm Jupiter Communications, then parlayed that money into other ventures, such as the short-lived internet TV studio Psuedo. Psuedo was launched before Hulu, revision3, justin.tv or uStream; hell, this was even before broadband was as widespread as it is today, making streaming, high-quality television a reality (Psuedo’s programs were a bit choppy).

After Pseudo, Harris launched perhaps his most ambitious project of all: an experimental community/art project called “Quiet: We Live in Public.” Harris rounded up over 100 artists into an underground bunker, offering free food, drink, and firing range access (with a huge of assault weapons to choose from, no joke). Using an intricate system of cameras, he recorded their every move and provided each of them a TV monitor so they could watch the activities of others. When FEMA shut down the bunker, Harris launched a different, more intimate version of “We Live in Public,” installing dozens of cameras and microphones inside his apartment to record the actions of himself and his girlfriend, Tonya. He then broadcast the results onto the internet, to the pleasure of many an internet chat room participant. As the second iteration of “We Live in Public” progressed, Harris found that constant internet surveillance had the ability to drastically affect his psychological condition and, perhaps, the course of his life.
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VOTD: The Sundance Phone Call

The Sundance Film Festival is the mecca of American film festivals. I’m not sure you can understand how important it is for a first time independent filmmaker to get his film into Sundance unless you are one — it is almost anything. Sundance has launched the careers of filmmakers like Darren Aronofsky, Kevin Smith, Jared Hess, Catherine Hardwicke, Morgan Spurlock, David O. Russell, Bryan Singer and Quentin Tarantino.

The life of a Film Festival programmer isn’t glamorous. Most of the year is spent watching piles of submitted films, most of which probably suck. But for a couple days each year Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival and Director of Creative Development for Sundance Institute John Cooper gets to pick up his phone and change the life of a bunch of aspiring filmmakers. I can’t imagine what making that call must be like. It’s the indie film equivilent of winning the publisher’s clearing house sweeepstakes. I think so of the final Sundance filmmakers have been called in the rounds leading up to the final decision, so the call isn’t as out of the blue as you might expect. Watch the video below as Cooper calls Dare director Adam Salky and We Live in Public director Ondi Timoner to inform them of the big news.

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Video of the Day is a daily feature of /Film showcasing geekarific video creations. Have a video we should be feature on VOTD? E-Mail us at orfilms@gmail.com.

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