Co-presented with Northwest Film Center.

Recalling the intellectual gamesmanship of Robert Rauschenberg’s 1953 drawing Erased de Kooning, from which it derives its title, Erased James Franco is simultaneously a study of the craft of acting and of the fracturing—and reconstitution—of narrative and identity. While filmmakers in recent years have attempted shot-for-shot remakes of existing films—most notably Gus Van Sant with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Michael Haneke with his own Funny Games—the emphasis here is on a single actor, alone on stage, recreating iconic film performances that have been stripped of their original context.

In addition to re-enacting scenes from several of his own past film roles, Franco also reinterprets a pair of haunting portrayals of psychic disintegration and renewal: Julianne Moore’s role in Todd Haynes’ Safe and Rock Hudson’s in John Frankenheimer’s Seconds. Denied the charged interplay with other actors, Franco adopts a strangely flat affect, imbuing the film with a quality that Carter describes as “like bloodletting or a kind of cleansing…a building up and tearing down, simultaneously.”

Courtesy Carter and Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris.