4

Will You Be Watching the New James Franco Movie The Broken Tower?

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

James Franco has written, directed and starred in a new biopic, The Broken Tower, which was released on Video on Demand and digital download on Tuesday. The man behind the mustache is Hart Crane, a homosexual Jazz Age poet who committed suicide at sea after a turbulent life full of love affairs, dense and difficult poetry and friendships with big literary names.

The self-consciously artsy black and white film is a series of biographical sketches, loosely structured on Crane's multipart poem "Voyages." But what you really want to know is that The Broken Tower features a shirtless Dave Franco (James's brother) and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire) plays Crane's lover, Emil Opffer Jr., in an extended love scene. The notorious moment of the film, of course, is when James Franco fellates a prosthetic penis, adding another drop in the bucket of times the actor has explored gay and gender themes on screen.

In 2008, Franco shared an onscreen kiss with Sean Penn in

Milk

and in 2010, Franco played another gay poet, Allen Ginsberg, in

Howl

. His first solo art show in New York was called

The Dangerous Book Four Boys

, a play on the book

The Dangerous Book for Boys

, a guidebook to all things "masculine," including tree house building and knot tying. A short film included in the show,

Masculinity & Me

, featured explicit images of defecation, monologues on rape and violence and the line, "We're all gender-fucked -- we're all something in between, floating like angels."

Initial reviews for The Broken Tower have not been positive, but it wouldn't really be James Franco if they had been and it wouldn't really be James Franco without some oddity and boundary pushing.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.