Directed by: Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, and Luke Turner
Starring: Shia LaBeouf
Genre: Performance Art
What is the human soul? Is it something tangible? Can we smell it? Taste it? Touch it? This is a question that has been plaguing consciousness since the dawn of man. I couldn’t answer that question, until I saw Shia Labeouf’s #ALLMYMOVIES. Now you may think I am lying or being ironic, but I assure you I am not. #ALLMYMOVIES isn’t merely a film, or some pretentious piece of garbage masquerading as, “art”. What lies at the core of #ALLMYMOVIES is the essence of humanity. It is the story of a man who has felt out of love with life and himself and fell back in love again. It is a story or loss, remorse, regret, pain, and happiness. And it is something you should only ever experience once.
Like many of you, I hated Shia Labeouf. I thought he was talentless hack whose only claim to fame was ‘Even Stevens,’ and the Transformers franchise. He was always typecast into roles where he played an unlikable bastard who made snarky quips and somehow, get everything handed to him on a silver platter. Shia Labeouf’s career was utterly unremarkable in every way. He has done nothing to separate himself from the thousands of other failed child stars like David Spade, Hilary Duff, and Raven Symone, until now.
Going into this film, I was expecting trash considering Shia’s other attempts at, “performance art,” as the bag wearing fiasco. He would continue to do utterly bizarre things in the name of, “art” but I and many other people were unimpressed and disturbed. The only to come to his aid was James Franco, who also engaged in similarly bizarre, indie film projects. Five minutes into the film I was bored at simply looking at his blank, smug, bearded face. But suddenly, my feelings changed within the next 10 minutes.
Shia began to express glimpses of his true feelings while watching his films. It didn’t seem forced or unnatural. It was completely organ, and I was at a loss for words. Shia Labeouf? A smug talentless bastard…has feelings? I didn’t want to acknowledge it, but further into the experience I was able to witness his humanity. It was refreshing and oddly cathartic. The myopic focus on Shia’s face let me look deep inside him. I no longer saw the asshole that the tabloids constantly wrote articles on. I saw a man who is desperate to be understood. I saw man desperate to leave a mark or an impact on this world. I saw a man who felt regret about the poor choices he has made in his career and his life. I was dragged into Shia’s world.
When Transformers came on, you could visibly see the disgust on his face. He was overwhelmed with embarrassment and regret, so much so he had to leave the theater. I could feel every emotion. It overcame my senses like a tidal wave. It brought me great comfort to see Shia recognize his failures and reassures me that he will be more mindful when choosing scripts.
Shia would glow with happiness when he saw his earlier, childhood films. He became giddy like a child, and it strangely made me happy. It brought me nostalgic feelings of when I watched Even Stevens and the movie, Holes, on the Disney channel. It felt great, and I could empathize with him.
I don’t want to mislead people into thinking I watched the entire experience. I only watched about 3 and half hours and jumped between films. But those 3 hours were truly impactful. I have never witnessed such a raw display of emotion before. In the world where we lie to ourselves and others, it was refreshing to see a man express every aspect of him to the world. He laid his soul bare, and we all got to peek at what makes us human. The fact that we can experience such a plethora of emotions, go through difficult times, and relive are happiness memories is what distinguishes us from the animals. #ALLMYMOVIES isn’t just an experience; it is what the movie ‘Boyhood’ failed to be, a story of a boy growing up. All feelings that we experience in life is captured in such a microcosm, such an individual experience. It is remarkable. You now have a fan in me Mr. Labeouf. I thank you, and I hope you found the answer you were desperately trying to find. You gave me mine.