I'm Still Here (2010 film)

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I'm Still Here
I'm Still Here poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCasey Affleck
Produced by
Written by
  • Casey Affleck
  • Joaquin Phoenix
Music byMarty Fogg
  • Casey Affleck
  • Magdalena Gorka
Edited by
They Are Going to Kill Us Productions
Flemmy Productions[1]
Distributed byMagnolia Pictures
Release date
  • September 6, 2010 (2010-09-06) (Venice Film Festival)
  • September 10, 2010 (2010-09-10) (United States)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$568,963[2]

I'm Still Here is a 2010 American mockumentary[3] spoof film directed by Casey Affleck, and written by Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix. The film purports to follow the life of Phoenix from the announcement of his retirement from acting through his transition into a career as a hip hop artist.[4] Throughout the filming period, Phoenix remained in character for public appearances, giving many the impression that he was genuinely pursuing a new career.


In 2008, while rehearsing for a charity event, actor Joaquin Phoenix, with Casey Affleck's camera filming, tells people he is quitting acting to pursue a career in rap music. Over the next year, Phoenix writes, rehearses, and performs to an audience. He approaches Sean Combs in hopes he will produce the record. We see Phoenix in his home: he parties, smokes, balls out with his two-man entourage, debates philosophy with Affleck, and rants about celebrity.



The film premiered at the 67th Venice International Film Festival on September 6, 2010.[5] It had a limited release in the United States on September 10, 2010 before being expanded to a wide release a week later on September 17.[6] Although widely suspected to be a "mockumentary", the fact that the events of the film had been deliberately staged was not disclosed until after the film had been released.[3]


According to Phoenix, the film arose from his amazement that people believed reality television shows' claims of being unscripted. By claiming to retire from acting, he and his friend/brother-in-law Casey Affleck planned to make a film that "explored celebrity, and explored the relationship between the media and the consumers and the celebrities themselves" through their film.[7]

After surprising Hollywood by abruptly announcing his retirement in late 2008, allegedly in order to focus on his music,[8][9] Phoenix and Affleck began filming the documentary, which followed Phoenix as he began a career making hip-hop music while allegedly managed by rap icon Sean "Diddy" Combs.[10]


In May 2010, the film was shown to potential buyers. The Los Angeles Times reported that the film featured "more male frontal nudity than you'd find in some gay porn films and a stomach-turning sequence in which someone feuding with Phoenix defecates on the actor while he's asleep". Also, the film is said to depict Phoenix "snorting cocaine, ordering call girls, having oral sex with a publicist, treating his assistants abusively and rapping badly." Reportedly, after seeing it, film buyers were uncertain whether it was a serious documentary or a mockumentary.[11]

According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 53% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 128 reviews, with an average rating of 5.47/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "As unkempt and inscrutable as Joaquin Phoenix himself, I'm Still Here raises some interesting questions about its subject, as well as the nature of celebrity, but it fails to answer many of them convincingly."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13] Critics were divided on whether to interpret the film as documentary or performance art.[14][15][16] Box Office Mojo reported a worldwide gross of $568,963 as of June 2011.[2]


An article in the Relevant Magazine suggested that the title is a reference to Todd Haynes' I'm Not There. [17]


  1. ^ "Flemmy Productions Production Company". ProductionBeast.
  2. ^ a b "I'm Still Here (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  3. ^ a b "Affleck Says Phoenix Documentary Wasn't Real", New York Times, Sept. 17, 2010
  4. ^ "I'm Still Here". Magnolia Pictures. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  5. ^ "La Biennale di Venezia – I'm Still Here". Venice Film Festival. Archived from the original on August 27, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike (July 14, 2010). "Magnolia Will Platform Joaquin Phoenix Mockumentary By Casey Affleck Sept. 10". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 27, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Late Show with David Letterman, 22 September 2010.
  8. ^ "Joaquin Phoenix Calls It a Career? – E! Online". Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  9. ^ Warner Bros. Online (2010-09-02). "Joaquin Phoenix: Leaving the Silver Screen? | Extra". Extratv.warnerbros.com. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  10. ^ Casey Affleck (2010-09-02). "Casey Affleck Joaquins the Line With Phoenix Doc". E! Online. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  11. ^ John Horn (2010-09-02). "Joaquin Phoenix documentary: Even buyers aren't sure if it's a prank: Los Angeles Times: 24 Frames". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
  12. ^ "I'm Still Here (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  13. ^ "I'm Still Here Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  14. ^ Robinson, Tasha. "I'm Still Here | Film | Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  15. ^ Turan, Kenneth (2010-09-10). "Joaquin Phoenix, 'Still Here' (But Not All There?)". NPR. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  16. ^ Campbell, Christopher (2010-09-08). "Review: I'm Still Here – The Moviefone Blog". Cinematical.com. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  17. ^ "I'm Still Here Is the new film about Joaquin Phoenix a hoax or real?". Retrieved 2015-08-15.

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