James Franco has gone from acting to writing. He's appeared on a popular soap opera. And now, in his latest bit of high-art navel-gazing, he's starring in Maladies, a film in which he naturally plays "James," a soap opera actor turned mentally ill writer and artist.
The film is written and directed by a multimedia artist who goes simply by "Carter," and too is apparently a thinly-veiled character here. Franco has said that the film is about the two of them--previous collaborators on the James Franco project Erased James Franco--with Catherine Keener representing Carter. David Strathairn also co-stars. He probably represents either the personified concept of artistic frustration or Seth Rogen.