Joaquin Phoenix, more readily remembered for his Oscar-nominated performance as Johnny Cash in the 2005 film Walk the Line, premiered his new film I’m Still Here in Venice, Italy, on Monday, Sept. 6. The film is a documentary on Phoenix’s transition from actor to rapper, and is raising skepticism on its authenticity. Director of the documentary Casey Affleck says “…there is no hoax,” as reported by Sheri Jennings in “Venice Shows Affleck’s Film on Joaquin Phoenix”. Unfortunately, no one is taking Phoenix seriously, which has resulted in his music career’s failure to launch, as documented in the film.
When a celebrity attempts to regain his star-status, it is often done by means of a documentary or reality show. This is said to be the case with American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, whose recent attempted suicide left some people wondering why Barrino would do such a thing, as reported by Carlos Greer in “Fantasia: Overdose No Accident, ‘I Wanted Out'”. Her life was dramatically changed after winning the title of American Idol in 2004. Things were looking up for Barrino up until, as written in “Full Fantasia for Real 2 Summary” at VH1.com, “…The rumor mill was working overtime: foreclosure, diva behavior, dropped by her label, fired by her management, dumped by The Color Purple.”
In an attempt to regain her status as a star, she invited camera crews into her life to film her strive to get her GED, financially support her family, and launch her third album for a return to the Billboard charts, all the while trying to raise her young daughter. Life was beginning to look brighter for Barrino, or so it seemed. Her attempted suicide this last August, though, made it apparent that everything was not alright in Barrino’s life. Her show’s second season Fantasia For Real 2, returns Sept. 19 on VH1 to further document the singer’s struggles. Despite her recent personal mishaps, Fantasia For Real has proved to have a positive effect on her music career.
Barrino’s third album, Back to Me, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. Her single Bittersweet is currently on the Hot 100 Billboard chart, and has been on the list for the past eight weeks. She has been on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list for 18 weeks and is still standing strong in the seventh position, according to the information available at Billboard.com.
Although Phoenix’s attempt at a music career is still an uphill struggle due to public skepticism, it seems that the logical and smart thing to do is make a documentary; it can help him prove to the world his rapping is not a gimmick. It will give insight into the rapper’s struggles to be taken seriously, and give an intimate look into his life as he attempts to shed his actor image and embrace his new role in life as a rapper.
Awards for Walk The Line IMDB.com
Sheri Jennings “Venice Shows Affleck’s Film on Joaquin Phoenix” ABCNews.Go.com
Carlos Greer “Fantasia: Overdose No Accident, ‘I Wanted Out'” CNN.com
“Full Fantasia for Real 2 Summary” VH1.com
Fantasia’s Back to Me Album Information Billboard.com