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Joaquin Phoenix: 'I'm Still Here'

Documentary? Or mockumentary?

At any rate, the movie we all knew was coming has a release date: Friday, Sept. 10.

Magnolia Pictures is distributing "I'm Still Here," which chronicles a year in the life of Joaquin Phoenix, the critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated young actor who in the fall of 2008 announced he was retiring from the movie business to focus on a career as a hip-hop musician. Casey Affleck is the director.

Some smelled a hoax when Phoenix made the announcement and began displaying erratic behavior: He grew a bushy, almost Amish-caliber beard and cultivated a kind of Bob Dylan look with a pair of ever-present sunglasses. His nearly incoherent interview on "The Late Show With David Letterman," filled with sighs and awkward pauses, became fodder for satire: Ben Stiller dressed the part and gently mocked Phoenix at the 2009 Academy Awards.

Here's what Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles told about the film, which reportedly includes footage of Phoenix snorting cocaine off the breast of a prostitute:

"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."


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