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Joaquin Phoenix as rapper: Is the new Casey Affleck documentary for real?

May 7, 2010 |  6:59 pm


Our sister blog 24 Frames has news of the apparently over-the-top new Joaquin Phoenix documentary that traces his 2009 dalliance with hip-hop. If you recall, Phoenix "retired" from the film business to pursue his music dreams as a rap star, the result of which were a series of ill-fated performances in Las Vegas. In one of them, he got in a fight with a fan; in another, he fell off the stage. And then there was the remarkable David Letterman appearance below.

The whole time, Phoenix's brother-in-law, Casey Affleck, was filming. To what end?

For a documentary called "I'm Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix," it turns out, one that was screened for potential distributors yesterday. The Times' John Horn spoke with people who saw the film, and confusion reigns as to whether the movie is fact or fiction. Writes Horn:

Even after seeing the documentary “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix” in a private screening earlier this week, film buyers still aren’t sure of its genuineness. Was the “Walk the Line” and “Gladiator” star, who said more than a year ago that he was quitting acting to become a musician, playing a sophisticated prank, or did he really ditch his Oscar-nominated career to become a disheveled rapper?

What are the highlights?

Several buyers said the film overflowed with Hollywood debauchery, including more male frontal nudity than you’d find in some gay porn films and a stomach-turning sequence in which someone feuding with Phoenix defecates on the actor while he’s asleep.

Read the whole post here.

-- Randall Roberts

Photo: Joaquin Phoenix in 2009. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times