Shia hell? Watching LaBeouf watching LaBeouf

11 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Shia LaBeouf is live streaming Shia LaBeouf watching Shia LaBeouf movies for three days straight.

“We do offer some food at the concession stand, but I can’t really speak to whether or not he’ll have friends bringing him meals.” So said the 24-year-old assistant manager, who later told me he wasn’t supposed to give any statements at all to the press, no matter how mundane. Shia LaBeouf is back in our lives, invited or not and this time, the famously eccentric actor is live streaming himself watching every movie he’s ever starred in in reverse chronological order. It’ll all come to an end on Thursday with Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, a 1984 effort from Japanese legend Hayao Miyazaki – whose dubbed US version features Shia’s voice. Even when his pieces, if they can be called that, aren’t cringe-inducing — a la the time he wore a bag on his head that read “I am not famous anymore” — they can often lead to downer results. The #ALLMYMOVIES project began at noon on 10 November and will run for three days, 24 hours a day, so it’s no wonder the 29-year-old is beginning to look pretty sleepy.

After all, LaBeouf said he was raped during a piece called “#IAmSorry,” in which he sat silently in a room and, more or less, let his audience/participants do whatever they wanted with him. LaBeouf, a film actor whose performance art pieces have become frequent enough that calling him a dilettante is old hat, was at the Angelika Film Center in Greenwich Village, New York, for his most arduous experiment yet. Even if the piece could be compared to the iconic work of Chris Burden or Marina Abramović, that’s no fun. “One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me,” he wrote of the encounter. “There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with disheveled hair and smudged lipstick.

Mixing the endurance efforts of David Blaine with an existential Hollywood onanism that’s rarely allowed out of doors, #ALLMYMOVIES invites the world to watch LaBeouf watch his entire cinematic output. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well.” “#AllMyMovies,” LaBeouf’s current piece and another collaboration with Luke Turner and Säde Rönkkö of “#IAmSorry,” is a lot less heavy and a lot more fun. For 60 hours straight, and with only a few moments break between each title, 27 films will run in reverse-chronological order. (Actually, 28 if you consider Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac to be two.) And LaBeouf will be present for all of them. It normally seats “about 70,” according to one of the ushers, but the theatre is only letting in 50 people at a time, because a web-streaming camera is occupying a few seats and needs a clear shot of LaBeouf’s visage. The stream, when it is working, allows viewers who can’t make it downtown for the free-of-charge, first-come first-served event to follow along via NewHive. (No doubt due to copyright, the stream is silent, but this affords an opportunity to better scrutinise LaBeouf’s reactions.) NewHive, a new media publishing platform for artists, has partnered with LaBeouf’s art team of LaBeouf, Rönkö & Turner, to put on this show.

LaBeouf is remaining similarly mute during #ALLMYMOVIES, bar the odd laugh and cry, and reports suggest that audience members are loudly talking about some films being “shitty” in his presence. It would have been interesting to see LaBeouf’s response to such raw material; instead, we will have to see if he falls asleep — as many did — during the wretched “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” sometime around 6:30 a.m.

Wednesday. “I think it’s so interesting the way Shia’s reclaiming his career,” Erik Rogers, also a performance artist, told Gothamist at the theater. “I’ll be interested to see how he’s reacting to his own stuff, because I think he’s going to amp up the performance of like, this is me watching my own film, particularly in Nymphomaniac, where he’s got some kinda questionable scenes.” So — is this terrible, or interesting? One could say LaBeouf’s piece, or stunt, is the ultimate exercise in narcissism — a ploy by a whimsical, troubled celebrity who’s spent time in rehab.

It began with his #IAMSORRY, a thoroughly obnoxious response to the discovery that his short film Howard was cribbed past the point of legitimate homage from Daniel Clowes’ comic Justin M Damiano. Glen Langmaack, a 20-year-old fashion major from Manhattan’s Berkeley College heard about #ALLMYMOVIES on Twitter, and decided to head to the theatre. I don’t know if it’s traditional but, yeah it’s definitely something.” Also, while some of LaBeouf’s previous work seemed to rub his A-list status in the face of viewers, “#AllMyMovies” includes them. “Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” for example, grossed well over $300 million dollars. Both he and his compatriot, Sabrina Apostol, aged 19 and also a Berkeley student, said they didn’t plan on gawking at LaBeouf while in the cinema, but considering the unusual nature of the happening, they wouldn’t feel the usual compulsion not to stare at a celebrity. “I’ll definitely turn around and look at him,” Apostol said, almost defiantly.

UPDATE: Around 3 a.m., LaBeouf made a controversial move for a performance artist: He took about a 90-minute break, disappearing — apparently during “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” — despite the fact that he is supposed to be in his seat “24 hours a day.” However, he was back in his seat at around 5 a.m., ready to watch “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” But as I crept in about halfway through the almost-good second world war action-drama Fury, I felt it was something of an obligation to look back from the front row at LaBeouf. The wand’s bleeps were audible through the swinging doors, even during the tense dinner sequence in Fury (the best scene in that movie, by the way). But LaBeouf remained undistracted, and while I didn’t want to be uncouth and stare at the man with my notebook out, each time I glanced at him, his attention was firmly on the screen, hie eyeline just above the camera placed backwards just one seat in front of his face. Twitter users boasted/complained about waiting three hours to get in, but also described a party-like atmosphere, with folk ordering food and sitting on the floor. (“Smells of weed,” reported another.) What about Shia?

Langmaack described him as “engaged” with the film, laughing with the audience during appropriate moments of Nymphomaniac, and smiling and nodding to audience members, but not speaking to them.

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