James Franco is an actor with a lot of college degrees (BA, UCLA; MFA, NYU; MFA, Columbia; PhD in progress, Yale). John Irwin is the consummate Johns Hopkins academic (tweed jacket, thick glasses, ridiculous stores of knowledge). And this Friday afternoon, the two of them will have a nice little chat about poet Hart Crane at Johns Hopkins, thus fulfilling one of the fondest dreams I never knew I had until right now.
Among his other hobbies, Franco sometimes makes films. He’s stopping by Hopkins to tout The Broken Tower, which he directed, produced, edited, and starred in. The film is about Crane, the ambitious modernist poet who drowned himself in the Gulf of Mexico at age 32. Franco reportedly teaches an NYU class on translating poetry into film. Irwin has been working on a book about Crane for more than 40 years. Both of these guys are intense, and one of them is extremely handsome. This is going to be the best panel discussion you’ve ever seen.
The Broken Tower screens at 2 PM in Shriver Hall, and the panel discussion follows. Come prepared with your best esoteric question about translating Crane’s poetics into filmic language.