Mysterious man Joaquin Phoenix

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!

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14 Responses to Mysterious man Joaquin Phoenix

  1. Dave says:

    I believe its a very good acted scene,( at least i like to believe) as some points he seems very distant but then others he’s pretty quick thinking. Letterman as also done the wind up kind of shows before. Ive only seen this video on the small sized screen but im sure at points you can see Joaquin smirk like he knows what he’s doing is funny. Although on the other hand saying all that River was lost to drugs so I hope this brother doesnt go down the same route, would be an awful shame to loose another awesome talent.

    I enjoy all of your blogs, so far so many different topics but each one so thought provoking in its own right. Keep up the good work

  2. Walk the Line is one of my favourite movies. This makes me sad.

  3. He’s being very clever. He is an entertainer. He’s entertaining. Just in a different way. A guy in the 80s called Andy Kaufman used to do it. He’d make the audience and the media believe he was fucked. He’d ask them why they find it so funny. People would at first laugh, but then wonder if it’s true. He blurred the line of reality, for his own amusement. Even his wife said, after he died, that she never knew if the man she married was real, or a character. People to this day, twenty six years after his death, question whether he actually died or faked it, to amuse himself, and see how much hysteria he could cause.
    Pheonix is a huge fan of his, i’ve seen him say it several times.

    • Yes I read about Kaufman last night, too, but I didn’t know that Joaquin Phoenix had actually spoken of him before. I hope what you say is true. If it is then I applaud how he plays with the media and the audience. A bit weird but kind of refreshing, too.

    • Dave says:

      After watching the above and to be told Joaquin was a fan of Kaufman I have no doubt now his Letterman interview was a good act. Definately think he should make films but not sure about giving up the music, I’ve not heard any as of yet he may be pretty good!

  4. Paulinka says:

    He is misterious man. Indeed. I think the fact we can’t be sure if it was acting or not makes it even more strange and mysterious ;) I think Joaquin is a great artist with very sensitive personality.
    GOD BLESS him for all the great roles he has played! ;)

    • I agree. I think that through the way he grew up with his hippie parents that belonged to a cult and were straight vegans (which included the children) he has a sort of different view on the world. It’s fascinating.

  5. I absolutely love Kaufman. He was a genius. Phoenix is using the same techniques Kaufman used. Look rough. Hardly talk. When you do talk, sound slightly child-like and naive. I envisage Phoenix going backstage after that interview, and saying to his agent “those idiots ACTUALLY bought that”. If he was THAT bad, like, REALLY, his agent and manager would not have allowed him to go on. Neither would the Letterman show.

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