Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Still Here

I saw the documentary/admitted hoax I'm Still Here starring Joaquin Phoenix. I've always been a huge Joaquin fan; he broods, mumbles, acts oddly, and does other things I enjoy in an actor. I like his mysterious background and thought he was especially great as Johnny Cash. So how is he now? Ill-groomed. Enough so that David Letterman asked him how he enjoyed his time with the Una bomber. Irritating. A bad bad rapper. Fear not, my Eminem, you are in no danger, Mr. White Shadow. (for those not old enough to get the reference, it's an old television show, the premise being that a surly white coach brings ghetto kids up to speed playing basketball -- incredibly racist in its assumptions, it's also a great display of 70s camp) Why does Joaquin drop out of the acting game? Because he's sick of himself. Happens to the best of us. But the best of us do not start mumbling/rapping lyrics about being a show pony for the film industry. But we're all in someone's dog and pony should at some point in our lives and it sucks. When things get bad, my mind wanders to Sammy Davis Jr. singing Mr. Bojangles. As the only black member of the Rat Pack, he spoke to me. He seemed to endure the burdens of show business with a sort of stoic grace. I got that.

Joaquin will no doubt star in more movies. No doubt he and his brother-in-law thought up this pseudo-documentary as a giant fuck you to the powers that be. I get that impulse. It's not an easy movie to watch. It goes on for a long time. There are not a lot of chuckles. It's more of a cringe-worthy delight. Do you ever feel like you've been playing yourself for so long that it feels like the 200th performance of Cats, the only Broadway show my dad ever saw besides A Chorus Line? He liked both of them, God rest his soul. See I'm Still Here on dvd, preferably with cocktails. Many cocktails. You will enjoy it in the fun house mirror sort of way, the way when we're distorted, we can sometimes recognize ourselves.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about." W. H. Auden

Cocktail Hour
Wine suggestion: Writer's Block

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!


the walking man said...

We may all be in someones dog and pony show but that doesn't mean we are all broke to the saddle or the muzzle.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've almost always liked his acting turns. He brings a certain psychotic element to them.

jodi said...

Aw Girl, I just can't watch it. The ignoration (is that a word?) of hygiene alone, puts me off. I'd rather see him act without his tounge in furry cheek! xo

Lana Gramlich said...

Yeah, I think I'm going to skip it, myself. I liked him as an actor & I appreciate needing to rebel, but I don't appreciate being hoaxed, in the process.

Heff said...

Think I'm gonna pass on it. Even the spot on Letterman was awkward as hell.