Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wa-keen is Wakward

Here at Gus Johnson's Whisper, we think you can never underestimate the importance of film study.  You can spot an opponent's tendencies, correct your own bad habits, and gain a tangible advantage over the competition.  We're going to break down some film of Joaquin Phoenix...

Here's this thing in it's entirety.  

Here's another clip from a few years back when he was on Oprah.

Here's our Dr. Jack Ramsey style breakdown.

1) Lots of people out there are all: 'he's doing a character', 'it's an act', 'he can do what he wants, who are you to judge him?'  Those people should be at home coloring.  Here are the appropriate responses to those little quips.

-So what if he's doing a character?  It's still bizarre, weird, and discomfortable for everyone.  Sweet character!

-If it's an act, what's the upside?  You're there to promote a movie.  You are compensated in an incomprehensible way to act on camera.  In order for you to continue to be compensated in such a way, people must see your films.  You must promote your films so that people will want to see them.  If you screw this process up, it hurts your career.  We ask again, where's the upside in putting on an act?  There are literally MILLIONS of people who would kill to be on the stage that Letterman provides.  To treat it with such contempt and callousness is unforgivable.  So, if he's doing an act, he's an a$$hole.

-He chose a lifestyle in the public eye.  He doesn't have to appear on a program for millions to see.  We are all fully entitled to judge.  The same way an audience member on the Maury show has the right to toss out a phrase like: 'You need to step up and be a man and handle yo' responsibilities!' (raucous applause)

2) We think dude has officially gone off the reservation.  Like, that's it and that's all.  Ballgame.  The reason we think that is if you watch the 2nd video above, you can catch a whiff of crazy.  It's like crazy cologne.  You can see the odd delivery.  At the 1:32 mark, he talks about how it's not acting anymore... watch it... right there... see that.. you talk about a guy riding the car to crazytown... watch this right here...  He says that acting isn't pretending when that's exactly what acting is supposed to be, at least according to Sir Ian McLellan:

So right there, you've got to know that Joaquin a couple nuggets short of a 20-piece.

3) What kind of assurances do you need for his next film if you're the studio?  
What kind of corollaries do you demand? 24 hour guard? 37 dream catchers? One of those electric
fence collars? Seriously. How could you book this dude and not protect yourself?

4) If you can do a freeze frame at the 4:58 mark of the Oprah video, do so. We'll wait. Now, tell us
that you'd feel comfortable leaving him alone in a pharmacy after it closed.

5) Sometimes it's easy to spot crazy. The dude fighting imaginary spiders on the bus? Crazy.
Easy. Other times though, it's harder to notice. Notice the mannerisms of Wah-keen, head down at
a slightly cocked angle with his eyes straining upwards to make eye contact, the fidgety and
uncomfortable mannerisms (not nervous ticks but the kind of motion that makes it look like he wants
to crawl out of his own skin), and the unwillingness to smile/laugh/show vulnerability despite his
acceptance in front of an approving group. But there's more than that. Can't you see it? It's that
thing... that intangible thing... it's like knowing that a certain dude will drill that free throw with 2
ticks left... or knowing that in 5 years, this dude will be a hot mess with a beard who thinks he's being
interviewed in Narnia by Fiorello LaGuardia about the Fraggle Rock Ewok War.

So, we feel like if Letterman had watched all the game tape, he could have seen this coming. Of
course, Letterman was fine but the laziness of not watching the tape can cost you.


Ray Pedraza said...

Really, my wife and I were with the face of, "WTF" with this guy? We were waiting, and waiting for some smile and the "I'm kidding" expression, until the end of the "interview". I felt like a disrespect from Joaquin to us, the audience, and I know how Dave felt, I used to work in radio and I had a singer who was totally dopped for one hour interview, I asked three questions and ended the interview in 10 mins.

Live From the Palestra! said...

You're absolutely right Ray. It really is disrespectful to the audience as well as the huge # of people who work to produce the show. So often, our culture glamorizes the 'he was so high during ____ time' when in reality, it's not that awesome.

Just like with your radio interview, the singer (or Joaquin here) needs the interviewer to help with his success; they are intrinsically linked. To act in such a way is nothing short of arrogant and selfish.