PREMIERE OF DADDY’S “LOVE IN THE OLD DAYS (KOLOUR KULT REMIX)” VIDEO DIRECTED BY JAMES FRANCO
James Franco has his thumb in a lot of pies, as they say, and these days most of them are stuffed with gooey fillings of the artistic variety. So we were more thrilled than surprised when a freshly baked golden-brown Franco treat was pulled straight from the oven and dropped into our gullets. Specifically, we were lucky enough to be offered the premiere of Daddy’s new video for the song “Love in the Old Days (Kolour Kult Remix)” offThe PVD Remixes EP, which you can download for free right here.
If, by chance (and understandably), you’re not up to speed on the dozens of art, writing, acting, and video projects the hardest working man in show business has in the works, Daddy is Franco’s musical project that he formed last year with his Providence-based art school BFF Tim O’Keefe. We spoke with both of them about this vampy remix video of theirs, the recontextualizing of culture into an amorphous blob of awesome, and why so many weirdos come from Providence.
VICE: What made you decide to record the remix EP and direct the remix video? Are you guys remix crazy? Was it all pre-planned when you released the initial Motorcity EP and the initial “Love in the Old Days” video?
James Franco: I mean, no. It wasn’t pre-planned in the sense that we thought, “We know what we wanna do for the first one, and for the second one we’ll use this footage,” and that kind of thing. The way the band started was through conversations with my friend from RISD [Rhode Island School of Design], Tim O’Keefe, and he comes from this electronic music world. A lot of this is new to me—at least working in this area is new to me. But I think we both just assumed the music would take on many different forms including visual forms and remixes. And I do a lot of different kinds of projects, I have a lot of different kinds of video shoots and photo shoots and film shoots that I do for different purposes—some commercial purposes, fashion campaigns, some just for purely art context. So I liked this idea of using some of that material, or just like a song is remixed, I liked this idea of taking other things, like movies or fashion videos or whatever and remixing them for other purposes.
In other interviews about the Daddy project you mention that a lot of it hinges on juxtaposition. It seems that you are very much exploring juxtaposition and contrast with other work you’ve been doing as well, such as Spring Breakers.
Yeah, I think so. And I think that for a couple reasons. I started my professional life in narrative film and television and TV shows. Commercial movies are generally structured along narrative lines, and they tell a story, and there are characters, and the object for a lot of this project is to pull the audience into this imaginary world so that you’re not thinking so much about the structure or the apparatus or the making of the thing, and all that stuff should disappear so you’re focused on the story and the drama before you. With the music, that for me as opposed to what I just described, it allows me to string images in a different way, along the line of music. It opens up new ways of storytelling and new ways of using the video images and film images and material I’ve used in my other sphere of work to organize them in a new way. So I think what you’re talking about is inherent to what we’re doing.
The idea of remixing a movie has always been interesting to me. I guess the closest example I can give to what I’m talking about is The Rules of Attraction, and then Roger Avery did the movie and thenGliteratti was excised from that, even though I don’t think it was ever publically released. There’s something interesting about telling the same story from a different point of view, or rearranging scenes to tell a different story. Have you ever had thoughts about that with your filmmaking or acting or working with other filmmakers?
Yeah, I’ve tried to do exactly that. In a project that I feel is sort of related to what we’re doing and is in other ways different, I did a new version of Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho. And sometimes you’ll get a re-release or a new version of a movie like Apocalypse Now: Redux, where they’ve put back in scenes that weren’t in the original release so you’ll get more of the Playboy bunnies and this dinner scene with these French people that was cut out. This project that I did with Gus is completely different. He had kept all the dailies from My Own Private Idaho. And he had cut it in 91 so he did it using an analog process. What he had were all the actual editors’ reels, and what had been used in his version that came out had been physically cut out of these reels. Meaning what was left was literally all the stuff that wasn’t used. So even if there are takes of shots that were used in Gus’s version, the takes that were left behind were unseen. So all the material I had had never been seen by anyone but Gus and the editor. And so I got that digitized and made a new version of the movie. To me it is a re-mix of a movie, or it’s almost sculptural, where the raw material of Gus’s film becomes my material for a new kind of structure, a new kind of project that is both connected to the material but is also its own thing and is not like a director’s cut or the extended cut in any way.