"A California Childhood" gives you a wink and a kink into the man of the moment James Franco's formative years. Sketches, photos (so many) and writing combined gives this beautifully designed hard cover treasure clout and a feeling of creative genius.
A sort of California Andy Warhol kind of mind that may not have a factory but has a tentacle for everything creative, artistic, expressive and imaginative is what James Franco has been blessed with. And his mother, who reveals his birth name in the book, promotes this within him so gently and so masterfully that the question of parenting and nurturing of the creative mind can be addressed as we see the trajectory of James Franco throughout his wonderful and full childhood, primarily, in Palo Alto.
What makes James Franco so compelling is not only his boy-I-want-to-bang-from-next-door good looks but his ability to throw himself and all of himself into everything he pursues. So whether it is a film, for which he has been nominated for the golden statue, doing another book or even an art or fashion project, the man is compelling with a strong point of view on the world.
His body, his mind and his spirit come together in this semi-memoir that encompasses everything that people love about the boy. What we still don't know about James Franco is what he's really, I mean really, thinking. But this book starts to reveal that and with serious attempts to expose his developmental stages, the artist is so obviously within him that there was never a question that he would be considered a polygamist of inventiveness.
So where does an artist of his leverage and sway go to next some critics ask, but the point of James Franco is that even if he's doing a MFA or a big blockbuster film like "Oz" the man is in the present, the proverbial "NOW" something that reveals its origins in "California Childhood" and is innate to James Franco. Never thinking about the next moment, he seemingly remains in the creative instant just to give us more of his flair.
"I'd make the claim that this is fiction, but what isn't nowadays?" asks Franco in the introduction of the book and that sets the tone of how crazy he might actually be. Is this his first wet dream or is it just that the man never stopped having wet dreams? What you want from James Franco he delivers, yet again. But then again did we expect anything less? Never.
"A California Childhood"