Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained)


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Phoenix queried Phillips endlessly before he joined the film—part of his process, it turns out, which also included asking his mother to examine the script. In pitching the movie to Phoenix, Phillips told him he needed to think of the film as a heist movie. It was just a movie. Like Dog Day Afternoon is, like, intense, heartbreaking, and fucking funny. And those are the movies that I love. And those are the movies that I pursue.

During one scene, the screenplay called for Fleck to shut himself in a bathroom after several murders, looking for a place to hide his gun. Phoenix began dancing, an elegant, tango-like movement, and Phillips asked the cameraman to start filming with a handheld camera, just the three of them in the room while a crew of waited outside.

The muse of the movie, in many ways, is one of its costars, Robert De Niro, who plays a late-night talk show host modeled in part on Johnny Carson. Ironically, the two barely spoke on the set, in part because of their similar acting methods and artistic superstitions. Relate as the characters to each other.

There was nonetheless some disagreement on the method to the method. Before shooting his scenes, De Niro wanted the cast to do a read-through of the script, a practice he considered standard.


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De Niro invited him to his office, on a different floor, to talk, but Phoenix demurred. Phillips urged him to come up—this was Robert De Niro, after all—and Phoenix reluctantly agreed. After they talked over a few minor issues, De Niro turned to Phoenix, took his face in his hands, and kissed him on the cheek. Last July, Warner Bros. After watching Phoenix as the maniacal creep Arthur Fleck, I went outside to discover my rental car had been towed—the rookie move of a non-Angeleno.

It was at night, just in time for a prescheduled phone call from Joaquin Phoenix. There was an uncomfortable moment as I told him the location. In an uncanny and unfortunate coincidence, it was directly behind the Viper Room. Having just seen Phoenix in his harrowing role, it was hard not to think of that grim night, October 31, He had accompanied River and Rain to the club, which was frequented by the Hollywood brat pack of the era, including actors Keanu Reeves and Christina Applegate. One version of the story is that a well-known guitar player handed River a Dixie cup containing a liquid concoction of heroin and cocaine, and he drank it—well over a lethal dose, the coroner later determined.

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As River convulsed on the sidewalk outside the club and Rain looked on, Joaquin made the heartbreaking call. Now, 26 years later, Phoenix drives up in a beat-up old black Lexus, warm and smiling in a pair of white karate pants and well-worn Converse sneakers, a cigarette dangling from his lip and his hair not so much combed back as yanked into submission.

In , River famously told Details magazine that he lost his virginity at age four, which seemed to cement a narrative about what happened inside the cult. It was just fucking with the press. It was literally a joke, because he was so tired of being asked ridiculous questions by the press. When Joaquin and his siblings were children, his family was living in Venezuela, apart from the Children of God community in the United States. I think they probably were looking for safety, and family.

Leaving a country that had assassinated a president and any number of civil rights leaders within a few fucking years, which is so hard for me to fathom, right? After the family arrived in Florida, the singing and dancing continued, with River and Rain forming a brother-sister act, winning talent contests and gaining the attention of local media.

The family, having changed their last name to Phoenix, packed their station wagon and moved to L.

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Stan Lee Makes His Final Cameo in Jason Mewes' Madness in the Method Trailer

Heart got a job as a secretary for an executive at NBC and met a high-profile child agent named Iris Burton, who got the children into commercials and bit parts on TV. They studied dance; Joaquin became an avid break dancer. The Phoenix family were both morally rigid—the children would not appear in soda or fast food commercials—and totally freewheeling: When Joaquin asked his mother if he could change his name, she told him yes, and he went to see his father, who was in the yard raking leaves.

A moment later his new name was Leaf. In some ways, his early roles as Leaf Phoenix set the tone for his career. In an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, for instance, he played a deaf rich boy who witnesses a murder and hatches a plan to blackmail the murderer. With the success of the Rob Reiner-directed boyhood drama Stand by Me in , River was catapulted to stardom and the family became a minor media sensation.

He later gained back He came off as eccentric and hyperactive. He took a brief ride on a motorized skateboard and once fell to the floor to examine a tiny black bug.

Stan Lee Makes His Final Cameo in Jason Mewes' Madness in the Method Trailer

He wants more people to care about world peace. Phoenix says he first understood the power of acting while playing a role in Hill Street Blues in It felt incredible. He pauses to consider his own story. You really had a knowing of what the fuck you were?

Dissatisfied with life in Los Angeles, the Phoenixes moved back to Florida, settling in Gainesville, and River bought the family a ranch in Costa Rica. River began tutoring his younger brother about cinema. And Woody Allen comedies. Not long after, he recalls his brother making a strange prediction. When he was 16, Phoenix says, he was sent a dead frog in the mail to dissect for his biology studies, which prompted him to discontinue his studies.

Phoenix says that he and his siblings were not frequent denizens of clubs like the Viper Room. His brother had gone there in , and reportedly stayed in hopes of playing music. The family grieved in private for months. The casting assistant on the film, Meredith Tucker, still says his audition was the best she has ever seen. He has a primal power that radiates vulnerability and a kind of tragic presence. Smoking a cigarette on the shaded patio behind his home, his dogs running in and out of the dog door, he considers his response to those inquiries over the years.

Nonetheless, his role as Cash defined him as an actor with an uncanny power to subsume himself in a role. At all.

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But the topic of River remains sensitive. Not even Phillips, who became good friends with Phoenix over the course of making Joker, ever felt comfortable enough to bring it up. The sound is at times booming, as if it were recorded on the wrong microphone for the space. This is paired with some truly bad ADR and hisses and pops between edits in the dialogue.

The cinematography is also frustratingly bad. It is hard to explain where the movie went visually wrong without going into great, overlong detail. Suffice to say, the stock footage used in the movie stands out horribly, because they are the best looking shots in the film.

When we go back to the actual scenes the quality dip is drastic. I will note that one particular scene in the movie did grab me. The two fight, and it results in the fictional end to their actual friendship. The performances are quite good from both of them and the dialogue is a cut above what we have been accustomed to hearing.

The resentment displayed by Mewes was surprising.

Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained) Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained)
Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained) Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained)
Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained) Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained)
Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained) Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained)
Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained) Method To The Madness (Hollywood Explained)

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