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James Franco's NYU Thesis Film to Debut at IFC Center

By Andrea Swalec | March 28, 2012 12:40pm

MANHATTAN — For his next trick, the actor, artist and prolific scholar James Franco will debut his NYU masters thesis at a Greenwich Village movie theater.

"The Broken Tower," a movie Franco made at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts as the final step toward his M.F.A. in filmmaking, will have a brief run at the IFC Center on Sixth Avenue starting next month, a center spokesman confirmed. 

The black-and-white biographical film, starring Franco, concerns the life of New York Jazz Age poet Hart Crane, who was born in 1899 and killed himself at age 32 by jumping into the Gulf of Mexico off the side of a steamship. 

The 99-minute-long movie will have a one-week run April 27 through May 3, as Artinfo.com first reported.

Critics said that while Crane's life was fascinating, the movie looked amateurish. 

The movie "may serve better as [Franco's] thesis film than as a commercial release," The Hollywood Reporter wrote.

Slate wrote that though Franco was faithful to the facts of Crane's life — including friendships with poets e.e. cummings and William Carlos Williams and love affairs with both men and women  — it was dull. 

"If Franco had really made a film that played up the juicy bits and cut out the boring stuff, it could have been great," Slate wrote. 

It is "yet to be determined" whether Franco, who has taught film classes at NYU, will make an appearance at the theater, the IFC spokesman said.