Friday, February 17, 2017

James Franco, John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle

Click here for a review on by Louis Proyect of James Franco's new movie based on a John Steinbeck novel. Points out the shortcomings of both James Franco and John Steinbeck.

About Franco:
...Everything I have heard from Franco in the past five years or so persuades me that outside of acting he overestimates his talents, whether it is writing poetry or teaching classes in the NYU film school. If he wants to become a renaissance man, it would probably be best for him to stick to projects he is qualified for, like being named the face of Gucci’s men’s fragrance line.
 About Steinbeck:
All in all, Steinbeck can barely suppress his disgust with working people that seems to be akin to Eugene O’Neill’s portrait of Yank, the steamship engine stoker in “The Hairy Ape”: barely human. One worker is a “ruminating cow”. Strike leader London has the eyes of a gorilla. Challenging the boss turns them into virtual werewolves. The “stiffs don’t know what’s happenin’, but when the big guy gets mad, they’ll all be there; and by Christ, I hate to think of it. They’ll be bitin’ out throats with their teeth, and clawin’ off lips. . . . That big guy’ll run like a mad dog, and bite anything that moves. He’s been hungry too long, and he’s been hurt too much”.
For Steinbeck, the solution to inequality was a paternalistic leader like FDR who set up beneficent camps like the one depicted in the end of “The Grapes of Wrath” as part of the Resettlement Administration. As the 1930s came to an end, Steinbeck’s views hewed close to that of the New Deal old guard that followed in FDR’s footsteps, including LBJ and Hubert Humphrey—prosecutors of the war in Vietnam that Steinbeck supported.

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