James Franco, who besides being in the creative writing program at Columbia is also studying film at NYU, debuted a short film at Cinevegas late last year, a clip of which has just hit the web. The short is called The Feast of Stephen, an adaptation of Anthony Hecht’s “blisteringly homoerotic” poem of the same name , which begins with a gay dude’s daydream about a slow-motion, penis-flopping naked basketball game in central park and leads to a brutal gay bashing. Movieline described it thusly:
No single punch or kick or bout of dry-humping, however, wields quite the diminishing power of feces smeared on one’s face, which Stephen endures in Franco’s grand finale. But really, endurance has less to do with his ordeal than does experience. The “feast” of the title is Stephen’s big gay rite of passage, however demeaning and/or gang-rapey it might be; the literally sh-t-eating grin he shares with the audience at the end suggests that even the most horrendous intimacy is better than none at all.
It’s hard to critique something that involves slow-motion naked basketball but also a brutal beating, and I think that’s kind of the point. Hey James Franco, if we promise to take you seriously, could you relax with all the gay sex and poop eating? Boy, if I had a nickel for every time my parents said that to me growing up…
(NSFW for slow-motion wieners)