Joaquin Phoenix’s hip-hop mockumentary set for cinema release

Casey Affleck’s directorial debut stars his brother-in-law

A mockumentary by actor-turned-director Casey Affleck on actor Joaquin Phoenix has been picked up by Magnolia Films and slated for a September 2010 release.

The film, titled I’m Still Here: The Lost Year Of Joaquin Phoenix, follows the Gladiator star’s odd transformation from Oscar-nominated actor to self-proclaimed hip-hop artist.

Affleck, who is married to Phoenix’s sister Summer, has been filming his brother-in-law since 2008, and in May this year, showed the film to Magnolia Pictures, who also distributed Phoenix’s last film, Two Lovers, reports Deadline.

After viewing the film, in which Phoenix is seen snorting cocaine off the breast of a prostitute, Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia said: “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 behaviour but really good filmmaking as well. Frankly, some of the behaviour 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.”

Phoenix announced his retirement from film in October 2008, to concentrate on developing his hip-hop career, managed by P Diddy. He made his debut in 2009 and responded to rumours that his new career was a hoax, stating: “This is not a joke. Might I be ridiculous? Might my career in music be laughable? Yeah, that’s possible, but that’s certainly not my intention.”