September 17, 2015
        J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer                59th BFI London Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup        

James Franco Art Exhibit Shut Down There’s been a lot of speculation about why James Franco’s art installation in New York was shut down last week. His “High Low/Rob Lowe” show at the Asia Song Society in Soho (aka ASS) had a hot (literally) opening night, but then was suddenly put out of business. The show included readings from Rob Lowe’s recent autobiography on video. But it also included the “Three’s Company” installation that Franco put together last winter at Sundance. That piece was fun and a big hit. Actor Richard Kline, who played Larry on the show, even came to Sundance to check it out.

But apparently the creators of “Three’s Company” had only given permission for use at Sundance, and didn’t realize it could go on to other venues. Franco’s astute manager Miles Levy realized this too late, and decided it was best to shut down until it was all worked out. Franco had gotten the right to re-shoot the first three episodes of the 70s sitcom as a kooky drama, then show it in the installation. It was a lot fun at Sundance, and certainly should be seen. Odds are the rights situation will get worked out soon.

Meantime: Franco is taking his “Sal Mineo” movie to the Venice Film Festival. He’s also going to introduce the finished version of Nicholas Ray’s posthumous masterpiece, “We Can’t Go Home Again.” Ray, of course, directed another masterpiece, “Rebel without a Cause.” This year he would have been 100 years old. Franco of course starred in and won awards for the “Rebel” star James Dean’s biopic. So he’s also got an art project being shown in Venice called “Rebel.” It’s a collaboration Franco has with Douglas Gordon, Harmony Korine, Damon McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha and Aaron Young. Gucci and The Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles (MOCA) are involved in that too.

And yes, all this while Franco shoots “Oz, the Great and Powerful” in Detroit. And his “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is number 1 at the box office.

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to

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