In a confession that is bound to have some of you face-palming: I’ve had this Shia LaBeouf #allmymovies live-streaming on my ipad in the corner while I’ve been chipping away at my finals work. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Shia LaBeouf has been live-streaming himself for the last 2 days in a 72 hour marathon of him watching all of his movies in reverse chronological order. It’s exceedingly arrogant, self-serving, even desperate for attention, yet I cannot help but oddly admire it. This has led me to the question of why. Why do I care that some washed up celebrity has committed himself to a gimmick that is bound to have others ridicule him?
The answer comes in the form of individual artistic expression. By doing this, Shia LaBeouf is essentially defying the general public and opinion towards himself. Of course, this doesn’t help past images of him wearing bags over his head that have read “I’m Not Famous Anymore!” on them or being arrested for public drunkenness, but this “event,” for a lack of a better word, is simply expressing a form of individuality, by choosing to be an individual. Artistry comes in many forms, and yes, it is up to the public to consume and define what is art, but art is highly subjective. Therefore, we as a community can argue whether this is genuine art or not, but it is still, nonetheless, a contemporary form of artistic expression.
Part of the admiration from this stems from the reality that we live in a society that people congregate, yet individuality tends to be absorbed within such factions. Community is exceedingly important, yet it often lacks an individual component from each of its members. Instead, there are voices from within, natural born leaders perhaps, who tend to guide. Hollywood is no different in comparison, where there is an expectation of how to act, how to be, how to represent oneself, which is perpetuated upon all within. The argument can be made that Shia LaBeouf’s fall from being the golden-boy of Hollywood was because he didn’t in-part conform to the expectation. Yes, there are always deeper problems, but let’s at least look at this scenario from a vantage of individuality. LaBeouf has subsequently stood out in the eye of Hollywood because of his unique individuality. Regarding #AllmyMovies, this “event” goes beyond whether it is bad-press or not because thousands of people are talking about it, which suggests a level of success towards this. The interest is primarily because of the unique individuality LaBeouf is currently exerting by allowing people to witness himself emote while watching himself on a movie screen. So the question of this being good press or not is irrelevant because we are actually talking about it.
#AllmyMovies is a blatant defiance of the popular opinion, which is what triggers a sort of admiration. We live in a day and age where people conform too easily and are afraid to embrace themselves, especially if it’s a quirky representation of oneself. While this is undoubtedly not the purpose and personal motivation behind Shia LaBeouf’s #AllmyMovies gimmick, the emphasis to be oneself and embrace oneself is the message that is ironically conveyed through it. Shia LaBeouf is essentially allowing the whole world to judge him for being him and he couldn’t care less…so why should you care what others think of you?