I'm Still Here (directed by Casey Affleck)

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September 18th 2010
Published: September 18th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

Saw I’m Still Here last night. This is the doc about Joaquin Phoenix’s attempt to shift from acting to rapping. Lots to say about this film. It’s a statement about celebrity and media, but not an obvious one. It doesn’t pander. While it definitely has Borat in its DNA, the best comparison I can think of is U2 in the Zoo TV era. A multi-year performance art piece, that the artist buys into so thoroughly that it is hard to accept that they are actually trying to be ironic. The biggest difference is that U2 appeared to be having an enormous amount of fun. Phoenix, to put it mildly, does not.

It is, above all, a gross movie. I’m not going to go into the details because I feel like the movie was spoiled for me, to a degree, by an article I read that told many of the “highlights.” Phoenix does this, Phoenix does that. Not plot spoilers—shock spoilers. Go into this movie reading as little as possible about it and it will be a ride.

And do this quickly. Somehow, I managed to get four other people to see it with me. That’s one more than the advertising and newspaper reviews were able to convince. In other words, including the five of us, there were eight people in the theater. On opening night. At 7:30PM. Do not expect this movie to last in theaters beyond the next six days.


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