James Franco, Mr. Brainwash bring art to Toronto Film Fest

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James Franco is taking his latest performance art piece to the Toronto Film Festival next month -- this time it’s his collaboration with Gus Van Sant and their installation ‘Memories of Idaho.’ The effort will include two new films centering on the cultural impact of Van Sant’s 1991 film ‘My Own Private Idaho,’ which starred River Phoenix.

The first film, ‘My Own Private River,’ is billed as a feature-length chronological reassemblage of excised scenes and alternate takes from the original shoot, radically foregrounding Phoenix. (Phoenix died in 1993.) The second film, ‘Idaho,’ comes from one of the the three scripts Van Sant used to create the original film. Van Sant’s large-format photographs of the actual Portland street hustlers who inspired the original film will also be on display.


Another performance artist, Mr. Brainwash, who was made famous by last year’s documentary ‘Exit through the Gift Shop,’ will also be strutting his stuff at this year’s festival. Festival organizers says Mr. Brainwash, aka Thierry Guetta, will be ‘engaged in multiple projects,’ including an exhibition at Gallery One and some collaboration on the festival’s fall exhibition on Grace Kelly. The festival also says the L.A.-based artist will be ‘towering over the red carpet’ outside Roy Thomson Hall with his spray cans when evenings require ‘additional glamour and pomp.’

The festival runs Sept. 8-18.


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-- Nicole Sperling