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Joaquin Phoenix Documentary: It Was a Gag After All

“It’s a terrific performance, it’s the performance of his career… I never intended to trick anybody. The idea of a quote, hoax, unquote, never entered my mind.”

That was director Casey Affleck, telling The New York Times that his “documentary” about the bizarre private life of Joaquin Phoenix was just a gag after all.

Reviewers were confounded by I’m Still Here and many (including Roger Ebert) decided to take it at face value as a weird record of a celebrity meltdown.

Turns out that Joaquin Phoenix has (apparently) been playing it deadpan crazy in public for a year and a half, at least since his infamous rambling appearance on the David Letterman show in February of 2009.  Affleck says Letterman wasn’t in on the joke.

Casey Affleck also seems a little irritated that people didn’t get the joke and/or the incredible deep meaning of the mockumentary.  (“The reviews were so angry,” he tells the Times.) Heh.

It does seem just a little disingenuous to claim that the idea of a hoax never entered into it. What were the Letterman appearance and the phony rap career, then — “spoofs”?

Or — wait! Maybe Affleck’s claim that it wasn’t a hoax is the real hoax?  Dude, how incredible would that be? 


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