joaquin phoenix documentary revealed as fake
  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

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Celebrities can often crash and burn due to the pressures of fame (or their own narcissism). This often leads to chronic drug abuse, prostitution, violence or a jolly combination of all of the above. However, it is almost unheard of for viewers to see all of it go down right in front of their eyes, on the big screen, in a well documented manner. This seemed to be the case with Casey Affleck's "documentary" I'm Still Here, which depicts Joaquin Phoenix and his retirement from acting, an attempt at rapping, and his quick demise into a schizophrenic world of drugs and paranoia. However, as predicted by many, the documentary turned out to be a fake.

Director Casey Affleck came clean to The New York Times yesterday that the film was in fact a "mockumentary" criticizing the world of fame and celebrity. All of Phoenix's drug use, hooker solicitation, and hopes for a rap career were actually just an act and part of what Affleck describes as "the performance of [Phoenix's] career."

As we previously mentioned, many viewers and critics have had prior suspicions that the film was in fact a hoax. Roger Ebert pointed out some possible give-aways in his review, such as some scenes being a little too "perfectly dramatic" and Affleck's questionable decision to act as director, being that he is married to Phoenix's sister.

One thing that Affleck made clear in the article is that the film is a mockumentary and not a hoax, stating that he in no way meant to trick people.

As a fan since watching Phoenix's spot-on depiction of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, it's a relief to see his talent has not disappeared. It should be interesting to see how Phoenix handles the situation. After his awkward appearance on Letterman last year, he was practically written off as another lost talent. Critics worried that he would stumble down the same path that his brother River Phoenix, a road that eventually lead to his fatal drug overdose in 1993.

However, it seems the past two years of method acting have demonstrated his dedication to the craft. Hopefully, he will be back soon, in new, less consuming roles. For now, check out I'm Still Here, probably playing at a theater near you. -brendan mehan

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Watch the Trailer
"I'm Still Here" Official Website
New York Times Article

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