Sunday, February 18, 2018

Famous Ephebophile: James Franco - On and Off the Screen


[UPDATE 2/18/18] When I first wrote this post, I didn't include a review of Franco's Actors Anonymous, because an Amazon review led me to believe that the novel didn't contain any ephebophilia, but a recent post on the Daily Mail proved me very wrong. 

1. By page 43, the protagonist took an acting class on Lankershim Boulevard in LA where he participated in an improvisation scene from Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago.

“So, last night, how’d it go? […] “Don’t bullshit,” he said.
“No bullshit.”
“So tell me. And no bullshit.”
“So tits like melons, no bullshit.”
 “No shit?”
“No shit, and an ass – momma.”
“A momma ass?”
“No, an ass like butter. An ass like candy.”
“An ass like that?
“An ass like an onion, bring a tear to your eye.”
“Like…”
“Like eighteen […] Sheeeit, you think she’s a virgin? […] Little slut, hungh?”

2. It’s mentioned on page 51 that it’s usually no fun to be the actor, director and writer of a film unless you’re Charlie Chaplin or Woody Allen.

Joyce Milton shared in her book, Tramp: The Life of Charlie Chaplin, that Chaplin acknowledged: “I had a violent crush on a girl only ten or twelve. I have always been in love with young girls [...]” In addition, Milton clarified that Chaplin developed a crush on twelve-year-old Maybelle Fournier, he met Mildred Harris when she was fourteen-years-old, and impregnated her when she was sixteen. Furthermore, he was smitten with fifteen-year-old Hetty Kelly, and impregnated Lillita Grey when she was fifteen-years-old - allegedly before they were married.

And the 33-page decision from the presiding judge in the case between Mia Farrow and Woody Allen revealed that in 1990, nineteen-year-old Soon-Yi asked fifty-five-year-old Allen, her adopted step-father, if she could attend a New York Knicks' basketball game with him at Madison Square Garden. Soon-Yi "opened up" to Woody (no pun intended) after attending several basketball games and in 1991, after she had enrolled in Drew College in Madison, New Jersey, Allen and Soon-Yi began speaking regularly on the phone. And in January of 1992, Farrow found six graphically nude photographs (e.g., "legs spread apart") of Soon-Yi on a mantelpiece in Allen's apartment. Subsequently, Allen married Soon-Yi.

3. The perils of fame are often mentioned in the book. For example: “[…] I’m like Santa Claus: Everyone needs a picture siting on my knee. The ones I don’t mind are the young pretty ones.” (52)

4. The protagonist had sex with a drunk and unconscious girl in her Ohio University dorm room, but despite the fact that she was a college coed, she was described as: “[…] a little blond girl, pretty cute.” (60) Freshman?

5. The famous ephebophile Charlie Chaplin was mentioned again: “My stare was the stare of an uncompromising carnivore that saw her young flesh as food; like Chaplin’s companion in The Gold Rush who is transformed […] into the Platonic form of the Female, a pinup bent-over in a tingly blue G-string. She was only eleven, but I never broke my vampiric stare as I went through our moves with the other zombies.” (104)

6. It’s shared in the novel that: “Errol Flynn once owned a Gaugin painting, but he had to sell it when he became dissolute and was two million in debt […]” (157)

Beverly Aadland’s mother wrote in her book The Beautiful Pervert: “My Beverly was only fifteen and still a virgin when she met [forty-eight-year-old] Errol Flynn. A few hours later, she was still fifteen…but she wasn’t a virgin anymore.” Beverly went on to co-star with Flynn in Cuban Rebel Girls (1959).

And Nancy Mowll Mathews related in Paul Gauguin: An Erotic Life that thirteen-year-old Teha’amana was offered to Gauguin by her mother and that: "[...] Western tourists were commonly offered young girls, usually by the girl's parents, to serve as companions [...]" and that Gauguin had a "[...] genuine delight at having an adolescent lover [...]".

7. The Actor had a beautiful girlfriend, but that didn’t prevent him from having: “[…] an uncontrollable need to fuck every young thing he could. In France that summer, he fucked.” (181) At least one “young thing” is elaborated upon: “[…] there was something nice about fooling around with her young body and having her say things like “You’re fucking the mayor’s daughter” over and over […]” (186)

8. The Villain shared: “[…] I was in Paris sleeping with college girls literally half my age, but underneath I have a good heart. Just as The Actor had a good heart.” (191)

9. The ephebophile shared his technique for procuring young girls: “One of my favorite approaches was to ask the young girls that requested to take a photo with me to email me a copy of the photo; that way I can give them my info very quickly in front of a crowd of fans and later work out a way to see them.” (213)

10. Kim was carried out by two orderlies, “grunting and thrashing”, but, inadvertently, her “flat young chest was exposed for all to see.” (225)

11. Seventeen-year-old Cent, the star of “Day’s End, a film about teenage vampires […] was screwing the thirty-eight-year-old producer, Mark Steely.” (266)

12. Lastly, The Actor had “a lifelong love of literature” that wasn’t shared by his father who didn’t care about The Actor’s: “[…] discovery of Dostoevsky’s Underground Man, or Raskolnikov, or Hamsun’s Hunger.”

Underground Man is the protagonist in Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. In part two of the novella, forty-year-old Underground Man has a brief sexual relationship with Liza, a young prostitute. Underground Man met Liza in a brothel where she had been sold into prostitution by her family. 


Figure 1.

James Franco posted the pictures in figure 1 on his Instagram. The pictures are inviting Franco's fans to see a trailer for his new movie Palo Alto (2014), which is based on Franco's book. And as you can see from the pictures, Franco's character is a teacher and soccer coach "who gets too close to a teenage girl on his team".


James Franco and Lucy Clode Selfie (Figure 2)

In a classic case of art imitating life, Franco invited Lucy Clode, a Scottish teen, to a hotel rendezvous after he signed her autograph and took a selfie (Figure 2) with her outside of the Longacre Theatre after he starred in a performance of Of Mice and Men. Clode tagged Franco when she posted the selfie on Instagram, which allowed Franco to directly contact the 17-year-old.



This is how their conversation went:





As you can cull from the conversation, there were two sources of contention - Clode wanted to verify Franco's identity and (intially) she didn't want to meet him until after her 18th birthday; however, she decided that if she could unequivocally verify Franco's identity she would meet him at the hotel. 



This is the headline of an article posted on the Huffington Post -  So, Is James Franco's Use Of Instagram Innovative Film Promotion Or Just Kind Of Creepy? The Franco/Clode selfie and subsequent conversation may or may not have been to promote his film, but clearly the reporter, Lauren Duca, is middle-aged women who is, unsurprisingly, against age-discrepant relationships between ephebophiles and teleiophiles. In contrast, Franco got between 49,000 and 51,000 Likes, mostly from young women, for the pictures in figure 1. 



Lastly, it's not clear why Clode (initially) wanted to meet Franco after she turned 18, because the age of consent in Scotland is 16 and 17 in New York, which may explain why Franco didn't have an issue with inviting the nymphet to a hotel.


[Update 11\02\14]: What's James Franco's favorite book? You guessed it. He posted on Instagram that it's Nabokov's Lolita.




[Update 03/04/15]: This is a GIF from “Agent Provocateur” an episode of Law and Order: SVU  which was based on James Franco's encounter with Lucy Clode. Here's the episode's (partial) plot summary: A 15-year-old girl, answering a social media invitation, sneaks out to meet her movie star crush […]