Tribeca Film Festival ’12: Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is) Review

Tribeca Film Festival ’12: Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is) Review
By Melissa Hanson

francophenia 1 300x168 Tribeca Film Festival 12: Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is) ReviewJames Franco, the Academy Award-nominated actor, took a role on the daytime television soap opera General Hospital playing a serial killer named, Franco. During the shooting for the final scene of the season, he had a camera crew follow him around and the result was over 40 hours of footage made into the experimental film, Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is).

Directed by Ian Olds and James Franco, the film has no storyline to follow. Instead, the film acts as a fly-on-the-wall and starts out following James Franco as he begins his day preparing for the final scene to be shot for General Hospital. What starts off as an interesting behind-the-scenes look turns into an odd voiceover giving silly insight into the mind of James Franco. As the voiceover proves endless, the idea loses it’s luster and soon becomes boring and repetitive. I couldn’t help but think that this was deliberate, and mocking the audience watching the film. Are the filmmakers just trying to make the most absurd film possible? Talking bathroom icons? Really?

Another completely puzzling aspect is the backstory of it all. I don’t watch General Hospital, so I had no idea what was going on in the scene they were shooting. Between the terrible acting and the ridiculously muscled cast, the story seemed to be that Franco was someone that was being pursued, but not with anyone really looking. And what about the baby?

What I did like was the black and white animation of a large part of one of the scenes of General Hospital. It took a terribly acted segment and made it something so interesting, you couldn’t look away. Besides that, even at 70 minutes, it felt like 3 hours, as nothing is resolved or accomplished.

Rating: Amusing but quickly tiresome. 2/10

Tribeca Film Festival – Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is)

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  • Christi0520721

    As a huge General Hospital fan, I don’t like what I’m hearing about this movie.  GH has ONE day to shoot it’s scenes, everything is pretty much one take… nevertheless so much of it is AMAZING.  I remember this day on GH.. it was not one of it’s best.  Sucks that one of it’s lesser days is being played out on the big screen when there are so many OSCAR worthy performances on GH. 

    I don’t think James Franco set out to make fun of GH?  I hope not at least. But it looks like his friend Ian Olds did, and that is just really sad and disappointing to me.  BTW I really liked James during the first arc and thought the story was fun…. the second and third arc not so much, although they had a few moments…