Chris Contolini

James Franco spends half an hour destroying his bedroom in Wholphin no. 8

Wholphin no. 8 came in the mail yesterday. Wholphin is a quarterly dvd magazine put out by McSweeney’s. Each issue is a dvd with ~ dozen short films from a variety of filmmakers.

I love Wholphin. The films are (generally) completely absurd and extremely thought-provoking. Point-in-case: this latest issue has a 32 minute steady shot of James Franco destroying his bedroom. The film begins, franco enters the room, he spends half an hour systematically wrecking the entire room, fade to black, roll credits. It makes little sense, answers no questions, is painful to watch at times (as he kneels in broken glass), but it remains 100% captivating.

I’ve yet to watch any other films on the dvd but they look equally promising (and more involved). The nice thing about Wholphin is that all the films are half an hour or shorter. They function more as inspirational mind fodder than entertainment. When I don’t have time for a two-hour feature-length movie I can watch a Wholphin short and feel just as satisfied.

In fact, I’m usually sluggish and tired after watching feature-length films because my body shuts down from idleness. Feature films are like fast food: you enjoy them but you feel like shit afterward. Shorts films are like ordering a salad at lunch: your friends question your decision but damn it, you just feel like a salad.