Shia LaBeouf is Hitchhiking Across the World (Because Art)

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Throughout May, Shia LaBeouf’s been regularly posting strange coordinates onto his Twitter, only recently providing clarity about his latest artistic endeavor. Along with creative collaborators Nastja Rönkkö and Luke Turner, LaBeouf has embarked on a project called, #TAKEMEANYWHERE, which sees the trio hitchhiking across the world and sharing their locations to followers online.

“From 23 May until 23 June 2016, you are invited to pick up the artists whenever their coordinates above are posted and take them anywhere,” the project’s site explains.

The group, whose journey first began in Boulder, Colorado, can be traced real-time through VICE, and once their hitchhiking adventures close, LaBeouf and his comrades will release a short film highlighting their experience for display at London’s Finnish Institute and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

Shia LaBeouf is Watching All His Movies at a Public NYC Theater, Right Now

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Shia Labeouf’s career has been incredibly diverse, ranging from playing the comedic relief in Disney Channels’ Even Stevens Movie to a provocative protagonist in the 2013 drama Nymphomaniac. An undeniably accomplished actor, the 29-year-old has also engaged in a fair share of unusual antics from viral motivational speeches to bizarre performance art residencies. (Never forget his iconic red carpet look: a paper bagged face with the statement, “I’m not famous anymore,” stamped across the front).

Considering all this, LaBeouf’s latest venture comes as no real surprise. Starting today through Thursday, he’ll be sitting in NYC’s Angelika Film Center watching all his films nonstop—an effort that’s laudably self-reflective, but still feels like some weird “artistic” pursuit. Anyone can attending the back-to-back screenings for free or watch the three-day live stream online. See the full schedule, below: 

Tuesday 11/10

12:00 pm – Man Down
1:30 pm – Fury
3:45 pm – Nymphomaniac Volume 1
5:45 pm – Nymphomaniac Volume 2
7:45 pm – Charlie Countryman
9:30 pm – Company You Keep
11:30 pm – Lawless

Wednesday 11/11

1:30 am – Transformers: Dark of the Moon
4 am – Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
6:10 am – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
8:40 am – Eagle Eye
10:40 am – New York, I Love You
12:20 pm – Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
2:20 pm – Transformers
4:50 pm – Surf’s Up
6:20 pm – Disturbia
8:05 pm – Bobby
10:05 pm – Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
11:45 am – Greatest Game Ever Played

Thursday 11/12

1:45 am – Constantine
3:45 am – I, Robot
5:45 am – Battle of Shaker Heights
7:05 am – Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle
8:50 am – Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
10:20 am – Even Stevens Movie
11:50 am – Holes
1:50 pm – Monkey Business
3:20 pm – The Christmas Path
4:55 pm – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
6:53 pm – END

James Franco Has Shia LaBeouf’s Back

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With his recent streak of bizarre behavior, including last week’s weepy stint at an L.A. art gallery, Shia LaBeouf has done everything in his power to alienate himself from his straighter-edged Hollywood counterparts. However, James Franco isn’t one of them.

In a New York Times op-ed piece published earlier today, our leading meta-celebrity came to LaBeouf’s defense, writing that the actor’s behavior “could be a sign of many things, from a nervous breakdown to mere youthful recklessness.” Showing genuine concern, he added: “For Mr. LaBeouf’s sake I hope it is nothing serious.”

Franco has long been exploring his own identity as a celebrity and relationship to the media through a dizzying array of self-reflexive visual art projects, so it’s no wonder that he sympathizes with LaBeouf’s creative plight.

Click here to read the rest on Refinery29.

 

Shia LaBeouf Heads Off to WWII With Brad Pitt

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Despite his oft strange behavior behind the camera, Shia LaBeouf is having a great. year. And as far as talented child comedic actors turned adult stars, he’s doing pretty well for himself. So far this year, we’ve seen him in Lawless, which despite the overall lackluster film, provided a vehicle for the one of his best performances yet, as Jack Bondurant. He stripped down for Sigur Ros in their "Fjogur piano" video and will do it again—and more!—for Lars von Trier’s highly-anticipated erotic odyssey Nymphomanic out sometime later this year. At Sundance, he graced the screen in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which he stars alongside talented babe Evan Rachel Wood, and this week, he’ll go head to head the iconic Robert Redford in The Company You Keep.

And it’s no wonder directors are clammoring to work with him, there’s always been something about Labeouf that was a little off—in just the right way. There’s a sort of maniacal and impassioned gleam in his eye that propells him into interesting roles with a striking ability to fall into characters with ability to shake himself off and dive into the skin of another.

Yesterday, we learned that LeBeouf looks to be teaming up with cinematic legend Robert DeNiro to play his son in Spy’s Kid (not to be confused with Spy Kids, obviously). And today, he looks to be hopping from star to star, now joining Brad Pitt for the World War II drama Fury from director David Ayer. With Sony already signed on to distribute the film, Pitt will be leading as "Wardaddy," heading a "five-man thank crew as they lock in battle against a desperate German army in the waning days of the war." And as we’ve learned from Inglorious Basterds, Pitt works quite well within that era and I am more than sure Shia LeBeouf will as well.

See the First Image from Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’

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Without a wealth of knowledge on the project—save a brief synopsis and some photos of the cast looking appropriately somber—the follow up to Lars von Trier’s end of the world ballet Melancholia, the psycho-erotic drama Nymphomaniac, has topped my list of anticipated films for the next year. And today we’re given a first look, albiet slight. The still from the film features von Trier muse Charlotte Gainsbourg lying helpless, injured after being attacked in a snowy back alley. Nymphomaniac focuses on her character and unfolds in eight chapters, as Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Stacy Martin, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen, Udo Kier and Jean-Marc Barr rotate in and out of the picture.

In an interview for Melancholia, Lars spoke about working on his next project and the influence of beginning to read again:

It’s an interesting point why the hell films have to be so stupid! Why do all lines have to be about something? A plot. when books have a red thread, they only brush it momentarily….Whereas a film is completely tied to the plot. Even a Tarkovsky film has nowhere near the same depth as a novel. It could be fun to take some of the novel’s qualities—even that they talk nineteen to the dozen, which is what I like in Dostoyevsky—and include that. 

It’s interesting to think how this would factor into his own writing, translating his next film into something even more powerful. Moving onto talking directly about Nymphomaniac or his second title option, Shit in the Bedsore, he went onto say that,  "But it’s no fun if they’re just humping away all the time…then it’ll just be a porn flick."

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To go a little more in depth, Nymphomaniac is a "wild and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to age 50 as told my the main character." Gainsbourg plays Joe, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac whon, on a cold winter’s evening, meets the old, charming bachelor Seligman (played by Skarsgard). After finding Joe in an alley, Seligman brings her home where he "cares for her wounds while asking her about her life." As he listens, the eight chapters unfold as she recounts the "lushly branched-out  and multi-faceted story of her life, rich in associations, and interjecting incidents.

Evan Rachel Wood and Shia LaBeouf Get Close in ‘The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman’ Clip

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Heading to the Berlin Film Festival this week after its Sundance preiere, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman has been a high on everyone’s radar for the year. And although it opened to mixed reviews in Park City, the thriller may prove to have a different sway with European audiences and those outside the festival. From music video direct Fredrik Bond in his directorial debut, the film stars the powerfully beautiful Evan Rachel Wood and Shia Labeuf, who hopefully gets to exercise some of his darker acting chops this time around.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman follows a young man who jets off to Europe, falls in one, and violently collides with her ex-boyfriend. IndieWire noted that the film is "played to a degree so feverish…that the movie feels like the swelling, love-cranked-up-to-11 crescendo of a Sigur Ros song at all times, making for a picture that seems desperate to be seen as a deeply-felt, slow-motion music video." Still interested.

With a distributor still not attached, MTV has released an exclusive clip from the film today. A red-haired ERW tells a pony-tailed and scruffy Shia that "tomorrow she’ll kiss him," as delicate music and slow motion ensues between Drive-esque cuts of the city from above, making this look like the worst music video I’ve ever seen or a movie that’s going to drown me in tears. Check out the clip and see for yourself.

Check Out the Bloody New Image of Shia LaBeouf in ‘The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman’

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As a twelve year old, I was absolutely positive that Shia LaBeouf was my soulmate—no one else. But now that some time has passed, I can see that, okay perhaps I was wrong. However, that doesn’t mean I appreciate him any less and genuinely believe he’s a pretty brilliant young actor who has just made one too many Transformers movies. But it’s been a good year for ol’ LaBeouf! We’ve seen him shoot em up with Tom Hardy in Lawless, get naked for Sigur Ros, and in April he’ll be starring alongside Robert Redford in The Company You Keep. Not to mention, next year we’ll probably get a few more naked Shia moments when we finally get to see long-awaited odyssey, The Nymphomaniac from Lars von Trier. But this week, another one of his films will premiere at Sundance, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, in which he stars alongside Evan Rachel Wood. The film follows:

Charlie Countryman (LaBeouf) was just a normal guy…until he fell in love with the one girl who will probably get him killed. When Charlie meets the absolutely irresistible Gabi she’s already been claimed by Nigel, an insanely violent crime boss with a gang of thugs at his disposal. Armed with little more than his wit and naïve charm, Charlie endures one bruising beat down after another to woo Gabi and keep her out of harm’s way. Finally his exploits of blind valor create such a mess that he’s left with only one way out; to save the girl of his dreams, must Charlie Countryman die?

Check out the new image from the film and while you’re here, watch the violently sinister short film, Maniac that LaBeouf directed last year starring Kid Cudi. It’s weird. Obviously.

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Nick Cave: Still Lawless After All These Years

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It’s hard to know where to begin with Nick Cave. His music inspires a sort of devotion among fans that few other artists enjoy, a hard-earned loyalty that’s seen him from post-punk provocateur to balladeer, novelist and screenplay writer. This Bad Seed’s latest project is the script for Lawless, which he adapted from Matt Bondurant’s novel, The Wettest County in the World. Directed by longtime friend and collaborator John Hillcoat, Lawless is a strangely beautiful tale of three bootlegging brothers in Franklin County, Virginia. Cave and longtime collaborator Warren Ellis did the soundtrack, as well, under the name The Bootleggers; it’s a magnificent, eccentric collection of Lawless-era takes on songs like "White Light/White Heat" by the Velvet Underground and a must for Cave fans.

Tom Hardy stars as Forrest Bondurant, a reticent man who favors cardigans and extreme violence when necessary. He’s a myth, a man who allegedly can’t be killed, and yet a mother hen of sorts to his two screw-up brothers, Jack (Shia LaBeouf) and Howard (Jason Clarke). The Bondurants’ livelihood is threatened by a new lawman from Chicago, Charlie Rakes, who is played by a nearly unrecognizable Guy Pearce. Sporting slicked-back black hair, a shaved part, and no eyebrows, Pearce is menacing, sadistic, and unforgettable. Rounding out the cast is Jessica Chastain as a former showgirl named Maggie who’s looking for a quiet new life in Franklin County, and Mia Wasikowska as a religious young maiden who seems open to a more worldly life in the arms of Jack.

Although it’s tempting to think of Cave as a myth on par with Forrest Bondurant, he’s human and equally at the mercy of the vicissitudes of technology. The soft-spoken Australian was fighting the good fight against his dying cell phone when he called from Los Angeles to discuss his acting swansong, lyrical violence, and the slog of interviews.

I’m really interested in how Lawless seems to fit right into the world of your songs and even your novel And the Ass Saw the Angel. Was that part of the attraction to adapting the novel, or was that even conscious?
I didn’t look at it in that way. I’m happy to write about anything for screenwriting as long as it serves the director’s vision effectively and that I can write about it. We were just given this book by a couple of producers who thought that John Hillcoat and I could do a good job on it based on The Proposition, the movie we’d done before that. I guess it’s no accident that we were chosen to do it; these producers were quite savvy sort of people, but for me, it wasn’t that I felt that it kind of fitted into something that I was about, it was more that… the beautiful lyricism of the book, the beauty of the writing, the absolutely exquisite dialogue that was in the book, and the great bits of brute violence that were in there as well just made the whole thing irresistible.

Have you ever though about returning to acting, since you met John on the set of Ghosts… of the Civil Dead?
No. [Laughs] No, you’ve got to know your limitations, and acting is always unbelievably painful. I do play a dead gangster in Lawless, and I saw that as my final curtain call for acting. Three bullet holes in the face.

How much time did you spend on set? Did you have a lot of ongoing input?
I spent two days on set when I did that particular scene. The rest of the time I spent ten days working with the actors in Georgia where it was shot, going through the script with them, and rehearsing with them, and giving them the opportunity to have some sort of input into the script or discuss the script or change the script or whatever… And then I left to go back to civilization. You know what I mean. The more civilized world of being a rock singer.

I read your interview in The Observer where Tom Hardy said he wanted to play his character like "an old lesbian," and I was wondering if you could elaborate on that.
I can’t, really… He also said he wanted to play the character like the old lady in Tweetie Pie, do you know who I mean? Yeah, that was the other person that he based the character on. And at the time this was kind of a [joke], these kind of comments [laughs] but you know, I think that what he was really saying was that he wanted to play the character like a matriarch, and that he was the mother in this family, and that when Jessica Chastain’s character comes in, she isn’t a love interest so much as a direct threat on his authority as a mother figure, and I think that that’s the way he’s playing that character. He’s just amazing in the film.

My favorite line was when Chastain’s character enters the room to seduce him, and he’s so perplexed, and he says, "What are you doing?" It’s beyond him.
Yeah, well, he’s a virgin. He’s a virgin.

Aw, little Forrest!
[Laughs] He’s spent his time looking after his family and sitting on his nest, and anything like love interests and all that sort of stuff, I don’t think he’s ever, you know, he’s never had an opportunity for. That’s the way we’re looking at it.

The process is so much more—you get hamstrung by the studios or the producers or what have you. What’s the payoff in writing the screenplay when you don’t have as much freedom as you do making an album?It must be very frustrating.
In the writing of something, it’s not like that. When you first write something, it’s actually really kind of enjoyable and playful and really all you’re doing is taking a story, and you’re writing the scenes, and at least, because I’ve only written a couple of screenplays, really, maybe three or four, I’m still kind of naive enough to the process to think that what I’m actually writing is gonna get made.

I think that with Lawless, my eyes were opened up to the way films get made a lot more. It was a Hollywood movie, and it’s different, it’s a different process. But I think what makes it enjoyable for me is a kind of naiveté about the process and that you can write scenes that maybe a more experienced writer would know that these scenes will never get made. That there’s no point even putting pen to paper with these scenes because they’re never gonna get made. I think at least initially when I wrote Lawless, there were a lot of scenes like that, that were so enjoyable writing them. A lot of them, as it turned out, didn’t get made, but a lot of them did, and so it’s both. It’s extremely exciting, but it can be frustrating as well.

But there’s a huge amount of people—it’s amazing anything gets done, honestly. There’s so many people involved in the artistic decision-making of a film, and the sort of trajectory that it takes, it’s amazing that a film ever gets made at all.

I understand Crime and the City Solution is preparing to go on tour and release its first new album in years. What inspires you to revisit a certain band’s sound, like, okay, now I want to do some Bad Seeds. Now I’m feeling a little Grinderman. Now I wanna go do something with The Flaming Lips. How does that work?
They’re all different. The Flaming Lips… It was very much about the kind of irrepressible personality of Wayne Coyne. He’s, how shall I say this, he’s a very difficult person to say no to. That turned out real good, but you know, all of these other things—screenplays, novels, and all that sort of stuff—I see as just keeping the songwriting process going.

What I want to be able to do in life is just to write songs, but I know, more than anything, that if I don’t do other things, I’m not going to be able to continue to do that because you just run out of ideas. If you just made one record after another after another, it’s impossible to do. It’s impossible to keep up any quality. And I was kind of seeing that fifteen years ago or something. I understood the trajectory of the band and where it was going in some kind of way, and it was starting to decline. It was in decline, I think, and so I started doing other things just to kind of revitalize that process, and it seemed to work really well.

If I do a script, like something like Lawless, by the time I’m finished with that, I’m running screaming to get out of Hollywood and the film world and get into something more sane, like making a record. It just keeps that process alive.

How do you feel about the kind of promotion you have to do for a movie insofar as going to different festivals and talking to interviewers? Is it exhausting in a way that promoting an album or going on tour isn’t?
Promoting an album, doing interviews, and going on tour are two very different things. With all respect, doing an interview is something where you’re sitting there and selling a product. It’s always that way, and there’s a certain amount of that that I guess needs to be done, really. Going on tour is something that is an extraordinary thing to do. I love going on tour and playing concerts and watching the songs come alive in a live way.

There are actually occasions when you do an interview that makes you think about things and makes you reassess things or gives you ideas and so forth, or makes you even understand what you’re doing in a clearer kind of way, and they can be really good as well, actually. But in general, the interview thing is a bit of a slog. [Laughs] Not this one, of course. Not this one.

[Laughs] That’s very kind of you. What makes an interview not a slog? Seriously, I am always looking to learn.
Really, it’s being able to kind of honest in an interview. You know, that’s the thing about filmmaking in particular, is that no one can really be honest about a film… because so many people are involved, and the kind of destinies of so many people are involved in the outcome of the film that everyone’s just gonna kind of, you know, toe the line. If you know what I mean.

Creativity really ebbs and flows, and it seems like you’re producing work at an incredibly alarming rate. What do you do for your downtime?
I’m trying to work on that, to be honest. That’s my next project, is downtime, because it’s not something that really comes naturally to me, and it becomes worrying on some level how much work I’m doing. Not that I’m exhausted by it, because I find work energizing, but just that there needs to be downtime. There needs to be time when you don’t know what you’re doing… If you don’t have downtime, then you don’t have the epiphanies, either. You need the downtime for the epiphanies to [appear]. I think to work more on downtime. Maybe you’ve got some ideas.

Shia LaBeouf’s Serious Actor Transformation Continues With Acid, Moonshine

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Yesterday was talk-about-famous-penises day here at BlackBook, courtesy of a certain nude British monarch (fine, I suppose for SEO purposes, it was naked Prince Harry), Ryan Lochte and Shia LaBeouf, and we hope you all enjoyed it, despite the slightly disappointing (for someone, anyway) news that LaBeouf would no longer be participating in unsimulated sex acts in Lars Von Trier’s upcoming film, The Nymphomaniac. There will still be real actors doing real sexy things, of course, but they will just be body doubles—so if your penis looks anything like Shia LaBeouf’s, you may be able to land a role in the next Lars Von Trier movie (there’s a certain NSFW Sigur Ros video where you can compare and contrast).

LaBeouf, who has been very vocal about seeking new acting horizons in the wake of his appearances in the successful Transformers series, isn’t just up for getting naked for Icelandic pop bands and/or Lars Von Trier. Citing Sean Penn’s electric-chair experiences preparing for Dead Man Walking as a point of admiration, LaBeouf has embraced not full method-acting, but a similar approach. For the upcoming John Hillcoat-directed “Goodfellas in the woods” Lawless, in which he plays a young bootlegger sharing the screen with Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain, he actually got drunk on moonshine. For The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, another mob tale in which he stars alongside Sundance favorite Mads Mikkelsen, he took a day to trip on acid to mimic his character’s experiences.

"Sometimes, it does get real," LaBeouf told USA Today of his hallucinogenic-augmented experience. "Too real for a (director) who’s trying to keep a diplomatic set." Not the sort of thing you can replicated with a body double, eh?