“I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix”- The Trailer is Released

In I saw... on August 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Mystified by the car-crash meltdown of one of modern cinema’s greatest actors, I’ve been tracking the release of the Joaquin Phoenix documentary since I heard of its existence. This morning, I did my daily google search for a trailer of I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix and for the first time, my eyes widened with excitement when I saw that it was finally here.

(Link to trailer at the end of this post)

The minute long teaser featuring Joaquin’s homeless-chic hairstyle, flashes of chaos and narration that makes the hairs on your arms stand to attention, has nonetheless left me with no further clues as to whether this entire spectacle is just that; a spectacle, a show, a hoax. Did Joaquin Phoenix really quit the profession for which he was so respected to become a drug-abusing, obscenely behaved, failing rap-artist?

I remember watching his appearance on David Letterman with my jaw on the floor feeling quite disturbed by the sudden down-turn of the actor that had so frequently moved me with his talent. I’m no stranger to being called gullible and naïve but Joaquin Phoenix never struck me as an exhibitionist.

The documentary, or what some skeptics are calling a “mocumentary”, is directed by Joaquin’s brother in-law, Casey Affleck who followed him since the beginning of his apparent demise. The LA Times reported that potential buyers for the film said it ‘overflows 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.’ Other sources who saw the private screening earlier this week claim it features Joaquin ‘snorting cocaine, ordering call girls, having oral sex with a publicist, treating his assistants abusively and rapping badly’.

Joaquin, far right with director Casey Affleck and Sean Combs, who Phoenix tried to convince to produce his new rap career. The scene is featured in the film where the CEO of Bad Boy entertainment is less than impressed with the actor's rapping skills

Admittedly, these are not the typical subject matters I look for in a film, but Pheonix’s pulling power still has significant weight in Hollywood and was quickly picked up by Magnolia pictures. Company president, Eeamon Bowles had this to say about the film:

“No matter what I thought coming in, I came out feeling this was a pretty amazing piece of work, jaw dropping but dimensional. It is going to get a lot of attention, but it is not some cheap stunt where they said, ‘Let’s do some wild stuff and film it.’ It is extreme behavior but really good filmmaking as well. Frankly, some of the behavior is very extreme. But it is in the context of the insanity of being in Joaquin’s life for that period of time. It is a unique piece of work that is going to surprise people in different ways.”

After it’s debut at the Venice Film Festival next month, Magnolia Pictures is expected give the film a wide release on September 10th.


Will you be buying a ticket to I’m Still Here: The Lost Years of Joaquin Phoenix?

Stay updated on the film’s facebook page

  1. In fact, he rarely talks to the press at all, and when he does he often earns the ire of many a reporter for being rude and short. Porn Film

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