James Franco playing poet C.K. Williams in 'Tar,' plus more movie buzz

Actor James Franco attends

Actor James Franco attends "Howl" New York screening after party at Bar D'Eau at Trump SoHo in Manhattan. (Sept. 22, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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WHO James Franco


THE DEAL A trailer for this student-made film recently appeared on the Web, offering a glimpse of Franco playing acclaimed American poet C.K. Williams. Codirected by 12 students at New York University, where Franco has both studied and taught, "Tar" also stars Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain and Zach Braff. It's one of several recent features that Franco has made or appeared in -- including "As I Lay Dying," "Sal," "Bukowski" and "Child of God" -- that fans may find difficult to see, since none have had U.S. theatrical release dates, though some have been made available via video-on-demand.


THE MOVIE "Let the Fire Burn"

THE DEAL Jason Osder's documentary explores the events leading up to the 1985 police bombing of the Philadelphia headquarters of MOVE, a black liberation group. The resulting fire would destroy about 60 houses and kill 11 people, including five children. Ramona Africa, a survivor who still serves as a spokeswoman for MOVE, will appear in person after next week's screening.

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INFO Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. Tickets are $15; 800-838-3006, cinemaartscentre.org.


THE MOVIE "Caesar & Otto's Deadly Xmas"

THE DEAL The latest horror-comedy from Commack-based writer-director Dave Campfield will hit screens -- small ones, at least -- when it's released to video Tuesday through the national chains Family Video and Blockbuster (currently shuttering and migrating to video-on-demand). The movie is an homage to old-school spoofs like "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein," with Campfield and fellow Commack native Paul Chomicki as dunderheads who find themselves getting in and out of terrifying situations. A release party for the DVD, which also includes several shorts filmed on Long Island, will be held this weekend.

INFO Saturday at 3 p.m. at 112 Video World, 580 Rte. 112, Patchogue. Admission is free; 631-758-9292, 112video.com.

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