Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron Economics'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron-economics, the former banker turned minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The capital of sex, drugs, alcohol, trash and trashy tourism'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French government crisis: 'Krankreich' not Frankreich

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank?

Read more

ENCORE!

France's Ongoing Literary Love Affair

Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde put under formal investigation in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: France’s new ministers

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • American 'Islamic State fighter' killed in Syria

    Read more

  • The ‘war’ at the heart of France’s ruling party

    Read more

  • Burger King to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for $11 billion

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

  • World’s ’most expensive’ apartment to go on sale in Monaco

    Read more

  • Egypt, UAE carried out airstrikes in Libya, says US

    Read more

Culture

New Joaquin Phoenix film has the critics guessing: is it a hoax?

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-06

Casey Affleck's directorial debut, "I'm Still Here", has the critics talking. The documentary, which follows Joaquin Phoenix's (pictured) path from actor to wannabe rapper, has the critics divided as to whether the film is really a hoax.

REUTERS - Whether a hoax or not, a new documentary about Joaquin Phoenix and his transition from acclaimed, brooding actor to bearded, shambolic hip-hop wannabe has captivated viewers at the Venice film festival.

"I'm Still Here" was directed by Casey Affleck, a successful actor and Phoenix's brother-in-law.
 
The guessing game over whether the picture was genuine documentary or ironic "mockumentary" poking fun at an intolerant and narrow-minded public and press began long before the release of the movie.
 
It mirrors internet chatter following Phoenix's now infamous television interview with David Letterman last year, when a confused, mumbling performance also prompted suspicions that it was all an elaborate act.
 
"I can tell you that there is no hoax," Affleck told reporters after his directorial debut was screened to reporters on Monday in Venice, where it is out of competition.
 
"That never even entered into my consciousness until other people began to talk about the movie," he added at a briefing where he was asked repeatedly about whether certain scenes, and the movie in general, were genuine.
 
But he conceded that audiences were likely to be confused.
 
"I'm very interested to hear those sorts of reactions and I appreciate that point of view, and I understand how a lot of this movie could be confusing in terms of, 'oh well, it seems like something's real or not real'."
 
Reporters filmed Phoenix arriving on the Lido, clean shaven, smartly dressed and looking in good shape -- in contrast with his dishevelled, bearded and overweight appearance in the film. He did not turn up at the red carpet for the premiere.
 
Candid camera
 
Whether real or not, I'm Still Here offers a sometimes excruciating insight into the life of a celebrity and into the mind of Phoenix, whose best-known films include "To Die For", "Gladiator", "Walk the Line" and "Two Lovers".
 
He is at times funny and coherent and at others childish, aggressive and paranoid as he struggles to live with his decision in 2008, which the media greeted with breathless disbelief, to give up acting and take up hip hop.
 
After his Letterman appearance, Phoenix clasped his head in frustration at how badly it went. 

"I'm just going to be a god damned joke forever," he said, before launching into an expletive-ridden tirade and bursting into tears.
 
The candid film includes footage of him apparently taking drugs, surfing the internet for call girls, hosting prostitutes, diving off a stage to attack a heckler and vomiting.
 
It also features rap star Sean Combs, who, after several failed attempts on Phoenix's part to set up a meeting, agrees to listen to a demo of his hip-hop music.
 
Combs's face as he listens to three demo tracks is one of the movie's highlights, and Phoenix leaves crestfallen when Combs makes clear he will not produce his record.
 
Again, though, reporters asked whether Combs was in on the joke. Affleck replied: "The role that he played in Joaquin's life was to be the bearer of bad news. He was the hammer that crushed the dream. All of that is a little bit of an act."
 
Comedian Ben Stiller also appears when he comes to Phoenix's home to ask him to consider playing a part in his recent movie "Greenberg".

 

Date created : 2010-09-06

  • CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

    Watch our full interview with Woody Allen, and read our movie critic

    Read more

  • CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

    Eclectic Cannes line-up mixes veterans and new blood

    Read more

  • CINEMA

    Buzz mounts around David Fincher’s Facebook movie ahead of festival premiere

    Read more

COMMENT(S)