James Franco Directs Lindsay Lohan in R.E.M.'s 'Blue' Video

James Franco 's R.E.M. Video Lohan - H 2012

James Franco 's R.E.M. Video Lohan - H 2012

After decades of commercial and critical success, R.E.M. called it quits as a band more than a year ago -- but the venerable alt-rock outfit saved at least one star-studded music video as a pleasant surprise for fans. 

The grainy, shaky James Franco-directed video for Collapse Into Now track "Blue" opens with a stark shot of blue-tone building sign that, appropriately, reads, "The End."

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The clip features aerial angles of a darkened Los Angeles skyline, a shoe-level view of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, washed out footage of the city streets, glances at various locations including the Roosevelt Hotel -- even a photo/video shoot featuring actress Lindsay Lohan.

The video, as Rolling Stone noted, was part of the Collapse Into Now film project, which enlisted artists to produce short films for every single track on the band's 2011 album. The "Blue" clip was published on the R.E.M. website on Thursday as a YouTube upload and immediately began attracting attention. 

"I went to people I really wanted to work with and I could trust them to do whatever they wanted. They had absolute free rein. In many instances I was surprised, in many instances I got what I wanted," R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe said to NME about the project in March 2011. 

Franco's "Blue" video coincides with the release of a new career-spanning R.E.M. greatest hits compilation, titled Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage, that was made available at online retailers this week.

Watch the video here