%photo13% Joaquin Phoenix has been absent from the silver screen for almost two years, but now he's set to make a comeback ... of sorts.
"I'm Still Here," details the actor's unlikely transition from actor to rapper. Since the project was first announced, many assumed the whole thing is some sort of elaborate prank. While the movie comes out in September, a teaser trailer of the flick has just been released exclusively on Yahoo! It answers few questions but, at the very least, shows that since the actor's now-legendary awkward appearance on Letterman, he's been up to all kinds of crazy. Watch it below.
The documentary -- directed by Phoenix's brother-in-law Casey Affleck -- appears to be an intimate portrait of the bearded, bloated, and bedraggled actor as he appears to goes through a professional and emotional collapse: He's rapping, he's fighting, he's hugging P. Diddy, he's fighting again as a voice-over intones on water drops and divinity.
While no one aside from the filmmakers know if it's real, even people who have pre-screened the movie left the theater even more mystified by the ex-actor's state-of-mind then when they arrived. The film is awash with the sort of rock 'n roll debauchery usually associated with a particularly tawdry episode of "Behind the Music" or some of the most eye-popping scenes in "Borat."
Director James Gray, who directed Phoenix in three movies, is convinced that that the movie is not a put-on. "If it is an act, it's the most committed act I've ever seen in my life," he told ABC News. "I mean, he built this studio [in his house]. The lengths to which he's taken it are quite extreme."
Eamonn Bowles, whose Magnolia Pictures is distributing the flick, defended "I'm Not Here" to Deadline.com. "It is going to get a lot of attention, but it is not some cheap stunt where they said, 'Let's do some wild stuff and film it.' It is extreme behavior but really good filmmaking as well. Frankly, some of the behavior is very extreme. But it is in the context of the insanity of being in Joaquin's life for that period of time. It is a unique piece of work that is going to surprise people in different ways."