Director: Ian Olds and James Franco
Francophrenia is, hands down, the strangest thing that James Franco has done yet—let that sink in for a moment. Remember, we’re talking about the same guy who once made a cerebral art-house drama out of old Three’s Company clips.
So what exactly is Francophrenia? In the simplest terms, it’s a hilarious and abnormal mockumentary in which documentarian Ian Olds frames on-set footage from Franco’s already bizarre gig as an actor on ABC’s soap opera General Hospital as an absurd and self-aware faux reality.
Through Olds’ demented voiceovers, wacky visual distortions, and straight-faced lunacy, Francophrenia imagines Franco’s last day working on General Hospital as me-against-the-world horror show, one where he suddenly realizes that the soap is beneath him yet he’s unable to break free from “the machine.” Hate on the guy all you want, but James Franco certainly knows how to poke fun at himself in compelling ways.