Demotivational Poster of the Day

Demotivational Poster of the Day

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm Still Here (2010)

In 2008, Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix walked away from acting to pursue a rap career, an inexplicably bizarre detour captured in stunning detail in this documentary directed by Phoenix's brother-in-law, Casey Affleck. Some speculated Phoenix's behavior was part of a well-orchestrated hoax -- or, even worse, a mental breakdown. But some of the film's graphic footage suggests it could have been a little of both.
Even after watching this enigmatic parade of chaos you may find yourself asking just as many questions as before you saw it. By turns hilarious, obnoxious, fascinating, and painful enough to make you cringe, the film appears to be an elaborate exercise in method acting in which our doomed anti-hero actually transforms from a talented actor with potential into the arrogant, drug-addled celebrity moron bent upon career suicide that he may have initially only conceived as a clever character to portray. One has to hand it to Casey Affleck for constantly enduring Phoenix's shenanigans for over a year and making something coherent out of it, but then again his motives as documentarian are just as mysterious as his subject's. Was he filming all of it to hold some sort of a mirror up to Phoenix? Was he simply trying to make a fool out of him? He succeeded brilliantly at that, if nothing else. But if that's the case, why did Phoenix go along with it? He is so intentionally complicit that you can't help but get the feeling that we're not getting the whole truth, that there's some inside joke, a well-orchestrated comedy disguised as tragedy. This is not a perfect film- it's not quite as funny or touching as we want it to be- but it still gets four stars for the sheer bravado that Phoenix and Affleck jumped into this with and also for the fact that you will be thinking about it and bewildered by it long after it's over.

This documentary on Joaquin Phoenix was very interesting. It is mostly showing his life in 2009 when he had a change in his life. Everyone knows that Phoenix was a bit messed up after he went on the Letterman show. But there is a lot more too it and that is why I watched this film. I will say that I do feel very sorry for him now, but he still has a lot of problems he needs to work out. One day he just decided he did not want to act anymore and quit. Phoenix explains that he wants to be himself and is tired of others telling him how to act all the time. So his mind kind of snaps and he uses up all his money to just enjoy life. Which includes never grooming, loves to wear sunglasses. To me I think he wears them to hide. He also keeps partying and gets addicted to drugs and booze; with the occasional hooker now and then. Two things made me really feel for the guy. One his music. The reason he wanted to be a hip-hop artist was to express his feelings. He was really passionate about it. He never really asked to do it live. He just wanted to make a cd so he had some money to live off of and people could see why he acts this way. But he was booked as a joke and never got to release anything. The other thing was the Letterman interview. Now the world saw him as a washed up joke. But there is a reason why he did it and why he acted that way on the show. He did it for a little money and he did it to show the world he is still around and he was not a joke. But as soon as he came on, Letterman made fun. Phoenix was so nervous he could not speak and then he got angry because he was the joke. Once he left, they had to pull the car over cause he was so stressed and crying. This is why you need to know the back story.He does have a lot he has to work out. Only two things made me not like the film. One was that it needed more subtitles because Phoenix was hard to understand at points and the ending was kind of strange. Wanted more of a resolution.


****/*****


4/5 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment