or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment and Culture › Joaquin Phoenix: I'm Still Here
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Joaquin Phoenix: I'm Still Here

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thoughts on the film? I just wanted to open it up again but without the required reading below, which was a clear error in judgement on my part .




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I watched this film last night and have been drawn into this phenomenon unlike any other pop culture story that I can remember. All I knew prior to watching the film was from the tag: "A film documenting Joaquin Phoenix's transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper." I don't watch TV often nor read the papers and had no clue about the media stir regarding Phoenix's Letterman Appearance, the Oscar joke by Ben Stiller, the Puff Daddy association, etc over the past 2 years. I found the film to be the most thoroughly-documented, compelling example of the tragic fall of a well-respected celebrity that I've ever come across. I took it at face value for what I thought it was, a documentary about the derangement and delusion that resulted from extreme use of hard drugs by Phoenix.

Then.. immediately after seeing the film, I went online, specifically to look for news about Phoenix subsequent to the film (is he even alive?). The first thing I found, to my complete surprise, was the statement by Casey Affleck (best friend and brother-in-law to Phoenix, he shot most of the film himself) that it was not in fact a documentary at all but a mockumentary. This twist in the story exalts Phoenix from blacksheep back to the A-list and the consensus seems to be that he and Affleck have orchestrated a genius hoax, an in-depth (2 year), undercover, unprecedented exercize in method acting in the vein of Borat/Andy Kaufman. He is back on top, it appears, and there are even rumors that he will star opposite DeCaprio in Clint Eastwood's 'Hoover' biopic. He already has secured the lead in one film:
http://www.filmofilia.com/2010/09/24...hoover-biopic/
Here's where the story really gets interesting to me.. I don't buy Affleck's assertions about the 'theatrical' nature of the picture. Questioning the character of Affleck and being only vaguely familiar with Affleck (mostly just because of his lead role in this years 'The Killer in Me') I looked up his acting history and found he has been consistently employed in Hollywood for 20 years (around 30 films I think). Quite a respectable resume, but the same with Phoenix.. I found this bit about a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by Affleck to have taken place during the filming:
http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf...ssment_1155008
Being incredulous of Afflecks story, I began to postulate a theory that perhaps he was equally far down the rabbit hole as Phoenix with the drugs and derangement, which seemingly fit the scenario of the two being best friends and together all the time with the filming. He hasn't commented on the drug use in the film (not just casual use but the fact that Phoenix is seemingly high and seen snorting/smoking something throughout the film) regarding its authenticity.

This is the chain of events as I see it (most coming from the 'plot' of the film) 1) Phoenix 'suffers' drug induced epiphany about the falsity of the life he has built and wants out. 2) retirement and the ability to express himself honestly through his rap music appears as his salvation 3) Affleck, realizing the fantastic potential of the story, instead of helping his delusional friend, picks up the camera to film it. 4) Phoenix meets one epic failure after another under the media spotlight, becoming the laughing stock of Hollywood (no small feat) and essentially commiting career suicide 5) someone (PR person perhaps) sees the opportunity to release the documentary and spin it as an unprecedented exercise in method acting (mockumentary), confirming the story of the hoax that had been repeatedly assumed as an explanation for Phoenix's bizarre behavior. 6) Affleck and Phoenix (now returned to his cleanly shaven image, although still a little 'off') do the press circuit to reveal that it was all a hoax!

Affleck says Letterman, Puff Daddy, Ben Stiller were involved (Letterman not in this story):
http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf...-prank_1185451
On the Letterman Show, Dave denies prior knowledge and says that he was told documentary, not theatrical therefore they don't need his consent to use the footage. Phoenix says only he and Affleck were in on it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEI4LUqhfn8
Phoenix wanted out of role after two months:
http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf...l-here_1168801
Magnolia pictures, who purchased distribution rights, deny it's a mocumentary:
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66D4RN20100714
could be to spur controversy but I find this compelling.

If I am right about the spin being put on Phoenix's 'Lost Years', I think that Phoenix's drug addiction is still an 'untamed beast', and will continue to have consequences for him in the public arena. The film shows that he possesses very little self-awareness or self-control, in both the public and private spheres. I predict his next roles will be his worst performances to date and he will quickly fall out of demand. His next retirement from film could be coming soon (either by poor performances or scandal) and not by his own choice. I think Casey Affleck is a shrewd, highly self-aware individual and probably no one would ever know if he were to fall to the same perversions as he would be more likely to recede from the public eye quietly. I'll be looking for an abrupt decline from the current peak of popularity that he is enjoying from his latest films.

I know I've taken this all pretty seriously. Maybe I have it all wrong, who knows.. It's been a lot of fun considering and I'm looking forward to finding new information to confirm/negate my suspicions. Please tell me what you think or know, I'm most curious
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulYAY View Post
the consensus seems to be that he and Affleck have orchestrated a genius hoax, an in-depth (2 year), undercover, unprecedented exercize in method acting in the vein of Borat/Andy Kaufman.
What consensus? Most people were onto it from the start. Most of those that weren't, really couldn't give a fuck about Phoenix and Affleck because they aren't exactly household names. These schmucks spent so long putting this together, it got old fast. They achieved nothing.

Quote:
Questioning the character of Affleck...
Affleck has always been of questionable character. He has a bit of a reputation for his lifestyle of drugs and orgies (rumours have persisted about his gay dalliances at these gatherings). He also has a reputation for being difficult to work with and not giving his all. The guy went MIA during the promotional side of things for The Killer Inside Me. He's the one that would most likely headline a picture such as this, if it were real.


I love how Phoenix needed to grow his hair and beard to sell it. Yeah, he looks like a hobo; he must have drug induced psychosis. We couldn't possibly believe he was doing drugs if he kept his appearance.
post #3 of 13
i refuse to read the dissertation you just posted, but half way through I'm Still Here, I realized that I didn't give a shit if Joaquin Phoenix had or hadn't lost his mind. He's never done anything that would make it a tragic loss or even interesting if he did.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses and I apologize about the length of the OP, I actually had a lot more to say about it too.. this was my first thread start (possibly my last lol).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sesame Seed View Post
What consensus? Most people were onto it from the start. Most of those that weren’t, really couldn’t give a fuck about Phoenix and Affleck because they aren’t exactly household names. These schmucks spent so long putting this together, it got old fast. They achieved nothing.
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mharwitt View Post
i refuse to read the dissertation you just posted, but half way through I'm Still Here, I realized that I didn't give a shit if Joaquin Phoenix had or hadn't lost his mind. He's never done anything that would make it a tragic loss or even interesting if he did.

To the first poster and subsequent posters, please say whether or not you have seen the movie.

You both touched at the thing that I find so fascinating about this. I was so thoroughly convinced that the film was in fact a documentary depicting the reality of the Phoenix's career change that I find the notion that this was in any way 'just acting' to be incredible. People tend to 'act up' in front of the camera but Phoenix has spent his whole life in front of the camera which I believed allowed him to be less self-conscious (or self-aware as I said in the OP) and to be himself. In the opening minutes, he talks about feeling trapped in characters and wanting to know who he really was, which makes this even more complicated. Basically, if he was not in fact on hard drugs through the duration, was not truly hopeful and crushed about the ups and downs he goes through with the rap album/performances, behaving naturally for these circumstances rather than fabricated as a sort of sketch sequence, then I really do think it is one of the most amazing acting jobs of all time.

Why did they spend 2 years making this documentary with little commercial prospect, an examination of the nature of celebrity as they said? I would think that this act would make them artists of the truest sort, not dependent on the response of their public for validation of their work. I would be in awe that these two actors, who really haven't given people much reason to expect such a artsy (wrong word but you get it hopefully) project from, would do that. That said, I don't buy it. I think these are two junkies with some very illogical reasoning behind what they were doing.

Thanks again for the responses. Does anyone share my skepticism?
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
bumpitty bump bum bumbpt
post #6 of 13
was it actually any good? i had intended to watch it until the news broke that it was just an act. i lost interest at that point.
post #7 of 13
I was about to rent this shit on Amazon by demand for 0.99 but then realized that I don't give enough of a damn about these clowns to waste 2hours of my life watching a fake biography movie
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
^ yeah, because you've seen so many 'fake biography movies' to know that it must be shit. Thanks for the wisdumb. It's times like these that I wish the American eugenics program had reached its fruition.
post #9 of 13
could only sit through about 20 minutes of it....it was a piece of shit.

i don't know how i was supposed to observe it...am i supposed to watch this as

a) some sort of fake borat-esque take on a celebrity documentary, or
b) does phoenix really expect me to believe he did that shit?

Makes it kind of hard to believe it when we all know it was a fake.

Either way, he did a piss poor job of accomplishing either. Don't waste a second of your time on it.
post #10 of 13
It was silly. I didn't really even care if it was staged or real - Phoenix was such a prima-donna that it was impossible to sympathize/empathize with his "breakdown".
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulYAY View Post
^ yeah, because you've seen so many 'fake biography movies' to know that it must be shit. Thanks for the wisdumb. It's times like these that I wish the American eugenics program had reached its fruition.

In times like these I wish the American eugenics programme reached its fruition in eradicating pretentious pseudo-intellectuals writing lengthy, incoherent eulogies about inane movies no one on earth gives two shits about.

That said, carry on
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by embowafa View Post
could only sit through about 20 minutes of it....it was a piece of shit.

i don't know how i was supposed to observe it...am i supposed to watch this as

a) some sort of fake borat-esque take on a celebrity documentary, or
b) does phoenix really expect me to believe he did that shit?


You're supposed to watch it as art, you troglodyte!
post #13 of 13
my problems was that his dream of being a rapper was incredibly hard to swallow considering how bad of a rapper he was
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Entertainment and Culture
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment and Culture › Joaquin Phoenix: I'm Still Here