Reel Cleveland: James Franco Comes to Town

And more local film news

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Since starring in the short-lived Judd Apatow TV series Freaks and Geeks, James Franco has taken on a variety of roles that show just how much range he truly has. He starred as Harry Osborn/New Goblin, son of the Green Goblin, in Spider-Man and played James Dean in a made-for-television movie that aired on TNT. He was a crazy stoner in Pineapple Express and played Harvey Milk's lover in Milk. As if to illustrate his many talents, Franco stars in an art film/collage called Erased James Franco that finds the actor reenacting roles from his various movies and doing interpretations from other films, like Julianne Moore's character in Safe and Rock Hudson's in Seconds. The 65-minute feature has its local premiere at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Recital Hall (11150 East Blvd., 216.421.7340, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 21. Franco and the director, a contemporary artist who simply calls himself Carter, will speak after the screening. The event is sold out, but it will be simulcast in the Lecture Hall; tickets are $25 for the simulcast.

A locally produced documentary that screened earlier this year at the Cleveland International Film Festival, Polycultures: Food Where We Live shows how Northeast Ohio communities have come together to promote sustainable food systems. The film arrives on DVD next week, and to celebrate the event, the filmmakers from Lake Erie South Shore Productions are throwing a party at 6 p.m. Monday, June 22, at the new Greenhouse Tavern (2038 E. 4th St., 216.443.0511, There'll be hors d'oeuvres and drink specials, and some of the interview subjects from the film will attend. Ticket price includes a copy of the DVD. Tickets are $40 advance, $45 day of show. Find more information at

Bad even by B-movie standards, Black Devil Doll is a contemporary blaxploitation flick that the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., 216.321.5411, shows at 10 p.m. June 19-21 as part of its Cult Film Series. "Rated X by an all-white jury," as it's put in the intro, the film is about a toy doll that becomes possessed by the spirit of an African-American killer who proceeds to rape and kill men and women. The word "offensive" doesn't even begin to describe the film, which features extensive nudity and more blood and guts than you'll see at a slaughterhouse. Tickets are $5.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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