After I had watched “Walk the Line” once again and it slowly started to move up into my top 5 films of all time I felt more and more admiration for Joaquin Phoenix who is just incredible in the film. He just plays the story and the suffering of genius Johnny Cash so convincingly that it blew me away the first time I saw it. It’s mainly the slightly aprahensive look in his eyes that makes the character in the film. He has got something strange about him, I thought, or he is just a good actor.
Straight after having finished the film again last night my friend showed me the video of Joaquin’s appearance on the Letterman show late last year.
First, please watch it. I didn’t last the whole video and had to switch it off about half way.
I cannot properly put into words how sorry I felt for the guy throughout the video.
He is barely present. Most likely he is on drugs. But does that give Letterman the right to so obviously riddicule him in front of the greatest part of the country?! The audience is in histerics about a man that probably doesn’t even know why they are laughing at him. I actually felt ashamed to have watched the video more than 3 minutes for “entertainment” purposes. Since then I have read several blogs and articles stating how shocking Joaquin’s appearance was and that his condition was really quite concerning. What I find concerning and shocking is that this example of lowest human behavior was even broadcasted. Maybe I live on the wrong side of the pacific to understand this kind of humor. Or maybe I don’t think economically enough.
A documentary called “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix” is meant to be shown in the near future. The film shows why Joaquin quit acting and went on to try and develop as a hip hop artist (Joaquin at Glasto next year?! Aha.). It is said to be very controversial and “include more male frontal nudity than you’d find in some gay porn films” (LA Times, May 7th, 2010).
Producer Afflek is currently looking for a distributer for the production film but it seems to be unsure if they are fighting for the right to market a documentary or a satire.
“Two buyers who saw the movie were unsure if Phoenix had turned out an elaborate piece of performance art, where the joke was really on the audience. While they were debating the film’s commercial prospects, the buyers did agree on one thing: They’d never seen anything like it.” (LA Times, 2010)
All of this is mysterious as well as confusing, Joaquin! It has even been said that the whole Letterman-show-thing was just a fabulous piece of acting. Bravo, if THAT was acting (still hatred for the audience and Letterman though!). Videos of Joaquin earlier this year show him back to normal. I hope he will go back to acting and bring us more amazing films that show him singing and dressed in black.
Until then I encourage everyone to watch Walk the Line at least twice and listen to Johnny Cash A LOT. Genius. And go Joaquin I like you A LOT, still!