Affleck’s documentary of Phoenix after he quit acting and decided to become a hip-hop artist has long been revealed as a fake, Phoenix’s decision a fiction. Endless scenes of Phoenix high, drunk, paranoid and obnoxious are interspersed with Sasha Baron Cohen-esque bits in which Phoenix puts people who are not in on the hoax on the spot. As a record of a mission to self-destruct, this might have been fascinating. The way various VIPs react to Phoenix’s plan to leave the glitzworld says a whole lot about how that world works and why it’s even there. Unfortunately, the film’s annoyingness completely obscures whatever interesting points it might have to make.
I´M STILL HERE | Directed by Casey Affleck (USA 2010) with Joaquin Phoenix. Opens August 11