Joaquin Phoenix

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: START YOUR OWN RELIGION (THE MASTER)

By Brian Lafferty

 

September 24, 2012 (San Diego) – On one of my many college days spent in the South Wing of Cal State, Fullerton's Pollak library, I came across Timothy Leary's book The Politics of Ecstasy.  It was a fascinating read unlike any nonfiction I previously encountered before then.  It was a collection of the disgraced Harvard professor’s essays and lectures on the psychedelic drug LSD.  In the chunk that I read, he defends the drug, and cites research and studies that he claims demonstrate its benefits on its people’s minds, lifestyle, and ways of thinking.  He argues that as long as you know what you’re doing, or better yet, if you have a “guided trip” with someone experienced in LSD use, it’s not only safe, but beneficial.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: "I'M STILL HERE" GOES WAY OUT THERE IN JOLTING, COMPELLING PORTRAIT OF JOAQUIN PHOENIX

By Brian Lafferty

 

September 13, 2010 (San Diego)--“I don’t want to play the character of Joaquin Phoenix anymore,” says Phoenix, the subject of this documentary. “I want to be whatever I am.” That is his explanation for why he chose to give up acting in favor of a rap music career. I’m Still Here, helmed by Phoenix’s brother-in-law Casey Affleck, is a film that you simply cannot prepare for. There are many images you will never unthink. These are not criticisms; as hard as it was to watch, I liked it. I didn’t necessarily enjoy it as I normally would. The documentary sets out and accomplishes what it wants to do and conveys what it wants to communicate. It doesn’t work as entertainment but then maybe that wasn’t the point.