They’re still here

Los Angeles Times - - At The Movies -

By now it’s hard to feel re­sent­ful about the Casey Af­fleck-Joaquin Phoenix hoax that is “I’m Still Here.” It’s just eas­ier to shake your head at the whole mis­guided stunt. On Tues­day, di­rec­tor Af­fleck came out on the stage of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” to fol­low up on his com­ments last week that the en­tire Phoenix ca­reer switch was staged. Leno, to his credit, asked if Af­fleck wanted peo­ple to think the film was real — ba­si­cally, he was ask­ing if Af­fleck wanted it to cross from post­mod­ern gag into out­right de­cep­tion. Af­fleck acted as though he was sur­prised by the back­lash. This was a char­ac­ter piece, “not a doc­u­men­tary,” he main­tained. Wed­nes­day, Phoenix was slated to get his turn to an­swer for the project, ap­pear­ing on “Late Show With David Let­ter­man,” the site of one of the film’s most in­fa­mous se­quences. Steven Zeitchik looks at what hap­pened at

latimes.com/24frames.

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