Shia Labeouf’s #AllMyMovies, what could be a fabulous publicity stunt has me intrigued, I must admit.
For the next three days, the actor can be found at New York’s Angelika Film Center watching his entire filmography in reverse chronological order, and anyone is welcome to join him.
It is an art installation piece by Shia, Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Previously they did a piece called #IAmSorry where Shia wore a paper bag and anyone could come up and say anything to him while he sat in silence. This project is very similar, he watches his films in relative silence (audible emotional reactions such as laughing or crying happen), and watches his films with everyone. You can say anything during the film, and he will not reply. He has shook some hands and given simple nods to acknowledge people who approach him.
Posts have sprung up all over social media of people who have gone to the theater so far, fans and trolls alike. You can even witness it all via live stream:
I’ve personally been watching all morning and there’s already been some supremely uncomfortable moments. People are not afraid to heckle, and maybe even feel more encouraged to heckle because Shia is there. It’s been strange to watch people prove this time, just as they did with #IAmSorry, a uncomfortable truth: We do not think celebrities are people.
Its also highly commendable on Shia’s behalf too. We live in a time of having to shroud ourselves in the mantra “Don’t Read The Comments”. We actively avoid YouTube comments and Yelp reviews because of the uneccesary vitriol that we stand to find there. Then there’s Shia LeBeouf, and he’s not only accepting it, he’s living in it, and he wants you to know it exists. In watching #AllMyMovies we have the awkward site of “What would happen if Reddit was real?”
There’s also something to be said for the marriage of self confidence and self loathing required to pull off art projects like this. Shia is the joke. He knows it, he doesn’t like it, but he accepts you saying it, even directly to him. He’s in the live action comments section, and really how many of us could do the same? How many of us could do it through one movie, let alone three days worth?
As I continue to watch, I’m filled with immense respect for Shia LeBeouf, because even if he isn’t the best person in the world, he’s made of far stronger stuff than me, and maybe you.
Perhaps that’s what these art installations were meant to teach us all along; humanity we’ve lost in the anonymity of the Internet.