FILM: The Broken Tower

It might be best to forget everything that you know about James Franco before viewing his new film The Broken Tower because if it were any other first time director’s work it would be seen as an intriguing art house film with beautiful imagery despite it’s freshman feel at times but being that Franco has a polarizing tabloid figure it’s likely to be seen as the film where Franco goes down on a guy.  The film is based on the life of poet Hart Crane who may not be well known but who very influential in his time creating epic poems and the title comes from his final work written shortly before he committed suicide at the age of 32.

This is the type of film that would likely put the average film-goer to sleep because it’s loose narrative which is broken into 12 “Voyages” (a device referencing his erotic poems) and pacing but the cinematography is gorgeous and the film is quite artful at times and, well, the French will love it.  The sex scenes between Hart and his gay partners are what most people would consider pornographic, notably the fellatio scene early in the film which might be considered downright shocking and one has to ask why it’s in the film at all.  Regardless as to whether Franco was trying to push the envelope or just outrage his audience, the scene is likely to out-stage the film itself which is a shame because we all knew Franco could act but it appears like he might have some promise director as well.

The Broken Tower opens Friday, April 27th at the IFC Center and is available now on VOD.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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