Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Action! And Glorious Adventure!

Fan made trailers make me happy, and this one is one of the best i've ever seen.

Oh so stylish.

And while we're on the subject of films, here's a review/article i wrote about "I'm Still Here" which i think you should read.

I’m Still Here, the Joaquin Phoenix “documentary” that has had critics and fans alike guessing for two years came out last week, and like its mysterious star it’s a tough one to figure out.

When Phoenix went on David Letterman two years ago, the entertainment world was shocked. Though the actor had already cultivated an air of unpredictability, shunning the squeaky clean image so many film stars try so desperately to acquire, the sight of him bearded, bespectacled and mumbling was not something the media or the general public were prepared for. Speculation about his mental health abounded, countless parodies were performed, and more than one person wondered aloud if it were not all just a big hoax to raise the star’s media profile. The film world waited to see what Phoenix’s next move would be. And waited. And waited.

The film, directed and primarily shot by Casey Affleck, brother of Ben and brother-in-law to Phoenix, opens with the actor wondering whether the media portrays him as dark and mysterious because he is, or whether he is that way because that is how people expect him to be due to media coverage. An interesting, if not altogether original thought, which raises the question of how much anyone in the public eye can really control how people see them when everything about them is filtered through the distorted lens of celebrity.

The image that the audience get of Phoenix from the film, often drunk or high, fat, hairy and almost unintelligible (subtitles are used throughout the film, despite the fact that everyone is speaking English), is so different from any ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of celebrity that it is at first funny, but quickly becomes mildly disturbing. Whether you believe the film is real or not (and Affleck finally revealed last week that it was a hoax), you are being allowed to see something very rare, a performance without a shred of vanity. The man simply doesn’t seem to care what people think of him.

When people thought the film was real this was impressive, but now we know it isn’t it becomes something almost revelatory. Try and think, just for a minute, of any other actor who would be willing to put his entire life on hold for two years, ruin his public image, and potentially jeopardize any future offers of work for the sake of a giant prank on the entertainment industry, his fans, and the world at large. Whether you like him or not, whether you see the point of it or not, you must admit, that takes some balls.

The film itself follows Phoenix from just after he finished shooting Two Lovers, through his attempts to set up his hip hop career, climaxing with the now infamous Letterman show. At turns hilarious and poignant; regardless of whether you’re watching him as a character or a man, the journey on screen is raw, disturbing and occasionally absurd. More of a curiosity than a film you’ll want to re-watch again and again, it confronts the viewer and makes them question how much they should trust the images of their favourite stars as shown to them by the entertainment media. In its own unusual and deeply unorthodox way it serves as a reminder that celebrities are people too, and that you shouldn’t judge anyone until you have all the facts, because what you see and what is real may be worlds apart.

Tomorrow I'm starting an experiment up here, so keep checking back. Hopefully it'll be interesting. Also I've had a review of Despicable Me written for about 4 months and it's finally getting published next week so i can post it, and I'm writing a review of Buried as soon as i finish this post, so that will be up shortly.
It's all systems go around here!

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