September 28, 2010

i'm still here... and he's still there...

we watched "i'm still here" last night.  i'd read roger ebert's interview with casey affleck where he admits that the film was not a dockumentary.  he still doesn't consider it a joke:

affleck (the director) thinks of it as a performance and not as an act, and he thinks of "i'm still fere" as a film, and not a hoax.

i don't know... i guess it was an interesting experiment.  i know i was watching the press coverage when phoenix "retired" from acting to purse a career in hip hop.  i giggled at the photos of his crazy old man beard and unkempt hair.  his gum-chewing apperance on letterman made me curious.  is he for real?  or is this all some act and is letterman in on the whole thing?

i think that if i stop trying to figure out exactly what was "real" vs. what was staged, i can say that i enjoyed the film.  it was incredibly uncomfortable at times.  it also made me laugh out loud.  the angry script reading with ben stiller was hilarious.  the scenes where he tries to "rap" in front of a live audience.... painful, but again, funny.  the drugs and hookers seemed fake (and they were).  his verbally abusing his friends and assistants everytime his "rap career" went wrong, brutally funny.

and now he's all cleaned up and pretty, back on letterman to apologize for the weird behavior.

in the end, what does it all mean?  that we think everything on tv is "real"?  that we pay too much attention to celebrities, especially when they fall?  that we enjoy seeing our idols fail?

for me, i was hoping all along that it was some kind if andy kaufman hoax.  and it kind of was... except kaufman never broke character.  he never admitted to anything, never went back on letterman to apologize.  for all we know, he's still out there performing as tony clifton in some rundown off the strip vegas motel.

and for some reason....i prefer that.... 

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