In my review last week, I wrote that the only fun to be had in watching "I’m Still Here," the so-called-documentary about Joaquin Phoenix’s meltdown in the form of a career change to hiphop, came in guessing whether or not it was a hoax. Now that’s gone too.
On Thursday, the film’s director, Casey Affleck, spilled the beans to the New York Times. Affleck described the project as "a bit of Gonzo film-making," saying of the persona of the suddenly sanity-challenged Phoenix persona, which premiered on the infamous Letterman appearance, "It’s a terrific performance, it’s the performance of his career."
I guess it had better be.
"I never intended to trick anybody," Affleck claimed in the interview, "the idea of a quote hoax unquote never crossed my mind."
I get the feeling that depends on what your definition of "is" is.
Affleck notes that the film’s "reviews were so angry," and this makes me wonder:
Does he think this admission of fiction within the film’s first week in theaters will make it more appealing? On one hand, the film’s production company is called "They Are Going to Kill Us Films." Backlash must have been a concern. On the other, why else kill the mystery in the first week? In defending his project, Affleck admits, "We wanted to create a space [in which] you believe what’s happening is real."
Now that the film now longer exists in the realm of uncertainty it exists only in the realm of self-indulgent and dull. This seems like a dangerous badlands. After all, what’s the follow up to "I’m Still Here?" I’m Still, Still Here?
If you find out, don’t bother telling me. I’m not angry, just bored.