Penguin announced today that it is publishing a new book by James Franco, written with David Shields, called Flip-Side: Real and Imaginary Conversations with Lana Del Rey. At first look, it seems like just another Franco love letter to Lana Del Rey. He already wrote one for V Magazine, but this one will be a little more fictionalized than that essay. As Franco recounted in V, Del Rey more or less told him to write a book about her and make up something interesting, even if it doesn’t accurately capture her.
Look closely at the Polaroid photos, shot using Impossible film, on the cover, which were all taken at Fort Tilden last July. There’s Del Rey on a beach, looking out at the ocean and presumably being sad. There are Franco and Del Rey posing for a picture. There’s Del Rey smiling in front of a weird shack with a painting of a scantily clad green woman.And then, in the final row, there’s a picture of Del Rey and her sister, Chuck Grant, being photographed by someone wearing a suit and holding an iPhone. That suit looks a lot like the one Klaus Biesenbach, the MoMA curator behind the museum’s recent Björk show, usually wears. Is that you, Klaus?Well, wouldn’t you know it, it is. Four months ago, Biesenbach posted an Instagram of Del Rey and Franco curating a selection of photos. Now we know that they were doing it for Flip-Side, which will be available in March 2016.Below is the book’s cover.
Correction, 7/23/15, 1:47 p.m.: A previous version of this article stated that the photos on the cover of Flip-Side were Polaroids. They were shot on Polaroid cameras using Impossible film.