By Bryan Hood | You have to wonder if James Franco’s days are longer than those of mere mortals. The incessantly busy actor/film director/degree collector, just pumped out a new music video for R.E.M.’s “That Someone Is You,” a track off the band’s final studio record “Collapse Into Now.” The clip is an imaginary recreation of behind-the-scenes footage from “Grease,” with Franco starring as John Travolta. The actor slicks back his hair, yucks it up with the cast and crew, and dances his heart out. Other than that, there’s not much of note in the video. Oh wait, we almost forgot the part about the actress playing Olivia Newton John having a giant cat’s head superimposed onto her body. For the entire video.
It’s a genuinely odd touch, one that almost makes up for the fact that the footage and song don’t seem to have any connection with one another whatsoever. Franco’s video feels like it could have been soundtracked by one of a million ebullient pop songs. Somehow though, the clip is still infinitely more effective than Franco’s first collaboration with the no-longer-together band. The earlier video, for “Collapse Into Now” track “Blue,” was damn near unwatchable, as its footage of random L.A. landmarks, Lindsay Lohan being photographed by Terry Richardson, and Franco in drag, seemed to have been mashed together at random. Taking that effort into account, “That Someone Is You” is a resounding success.
Of course, there’s more happening in the land of Franco than music video making. Remember the lawsuit brought against the actor by Jose Angel Santana, a former professor from Franco’s NYU days? No? Well, Santana sued the actor for defamation after Franco, who received a “D” in his class, told the press that he was a “bad teacher.” The lawsuit is still going forward, but NYU (also a defendent in the case) has thrown its support behind Franco, saying that, “The comments at issue consisted of nothing other than Franco’s personal opinions regarding Santana’s teaching skills.”
Updated (5:00pm): Is the clip for “That Someone Is You” actually just a fan-made video? That’s what Vulture thinks. And considering that it’s just the song played over a behind-the-scenes video from last year’s Oscars that Franco tweeted (extended by a mysterious minute though), they might be right.
For those who care to watch Franco twirl around with a cat-headed woman, the video for “That Some is You” is below:
Image: James Franco/Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images