From noon this past Tuesday and ending around 10pm last night, Shia LaBeouf sat in a movie theater at the Angelika Film Center in New York City and watched all of his films in reverse chronological order, sequentially, for 24 hours a day. Labeled as an art project called #ALLMYMOVIES, LaBeouf had a camera pointed directly at his face for the entirety of the three days and live-streamed the entire experience over the internet. The public could also attend admission free as long as there was a seat available and you were willing to wait in a line of up to 250 people. There were brief five minute breaks in between each film and literally everything LaBeouf did whether it was sleeping, eating, angrily glaring, scratching his hobo beard, or looking completely lethargic it was all captured on camera and projected for the world to see.
There was a desire to get an article up about this earlier while it was still live, but honestly Gothamist did such a fantastic job covering the event that there was really no use trying to capitalize on the initial buzz of so many people wanting to share Shia LaBeouf’s movies with Shia LaBeouf. Instead this seemed like more of an opportunity to weigh in on if this is actually art or not, if it was something that could be enjoyable, and if Shia LaBeouf is some lunatic barely grasping onto the threads of sanity or if he’s some groundbreaking artistic genius.
When the event began, it was just Shia LaBeouf alone, by himself, in a movie theater watching “Man Down,” which has yet to get an official release date. If you tuned into the stream at all, LaBeouf had this look of disgust and discontent when it came to his more recent roles. He really didn’t seem to come alive until his more popular movies were being shown. Also at the beginning of the event, the line to get in had something like three or four other people with a ten minute wait. By the time “Indiana Jones – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was playing at noon the following day, there was a massive line of people with some waiting since 2am to get in. In between sleeping and looking bored out of his mind, LaBeouf laughed heartily, shed genuine tears of concern, and ate popcorn, Jolly Ranchers, and pizza to fuel his journey. There are some really great animated GIFs out there highlighting the best moments, if you haven’t seen them already.
But could this really be considered art? That’s debatable, but it’s certainly unique and it offers a special experience for fans of the “Transformers” actor. Imagine if this happened in your town and some celebrity was doing something similar. Would you attend? Even if it was someone you couldn’t stand it would still be one of those experiences that would eventually evolve into a story that lives on forever. It’s completely surreal watching movies with someone who made the film being projected on screen and this is a high that lasted for three days straight.
LaBeouf continues to entice with his artistic endeavors. Ever since he was caught plagiarizing, it’s as if he’s decided to do things that are so bizarre and so out of the ordinary that no one has really attempted anything similar. LaBeouf’s personal life, issues with alcohol, and desire to chase homeless people in public is still peculiar and unfortunate, but there is something to his art – a method to his madness – that is completely absorbing and impossible to look away from.
There is this growing ball of envy buried deep inside this aging, flesh covered vessel that is completely jealous of anyone who was actually able to attend #ALLMYMOVIES over its three day stint. While LaBeouf brought his #IAMSORRY art exhibit to the same location last year, this is the actor incorporating his entire body of work into something else; something that everyone is invited to be a part of. But what was the point of it all? Was it to prove to Shia LaBeouf that his movies are still entertaining in his own eyes? Was he looking for areas to improve? Was it a test to gauge how big of a public reaction this would receive? An endurance test or marathon that no sane person would be willing to complete? There aren’t really any answers. LaBeouf kept to himself the entire time; totally engrossed in his own works.
While the stream has ended, it looks like all three days can be watched at your own leisure here. Whether or not Shia LaBeouf is artistically brilliant is polarizing, but his ability to consistently do different artistic endeavors is inspiring and thrilling in a way that ignites one’s own artistic prowess. There’s a fine line between madness and brilliance and it seems as though Shia LaBeouf has figured out a way to present wild and crazy ideas in ways that are so bonkers that they’re memorably engaging for everyone.