Festival airs film on Joaquin Phoenix
A buzz preceded actor Casey Affleck’s directorial debut, “I’m Still Here”: Was the movie about brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix’s seemingly downward spiral from actor to hip-hop musician really a no-holds-barred documentary — or was it just a setup?
On Monday in Venice, where his film was screened out of competition at the Film Festival, Affleck said he’s leaving the answer up to the audience.
“Elliptically, I would say ... I sincerely don’t want to influence people’s interpretation,” Affleck told reporters. “I can tell you there is no hoax. It makes me think of ‘Candid Camera’ or something.”
Phoenix’s decision to go for a music career and concurrent decline was fodder for late-night comics.
MDA Telethon raises $58.9 million
Despite the struggling economy, officials with the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon say contributions and pledges from this year’s Labor Day event totaled $58.9 million.
While the amount was down from $60.5 million last year and a record $65 million in 2008, Lewis said he was pleased with the support to advance the research and service programs of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“I’m heartened by the unique ability of Americans to help others in need, when they themselves are likely struggling financially,” said Lewis, national chairman of the Tucson, Ariz.-based MDA.
The 45th annual telethon originated for the fifth consecutive year from the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas.
Dozens of performers joined the 21 1/2-hour event, including Barry Manilow, Michael Feinstein, Maureen McGovern, Charo, Carrot Top and Norm Crosby.