Karen Valby
September 07, 2010 AT 02:22 PM EDT

Image Credit: Insidefoto/PR PhotosAccording to the Associated Press, first-time director Casey Affleck told reporters at the Venice Film Festival that his new documentary about brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix’s bizarre lost year “is no hoax.” But then he went on to say things like “it makes me think of Candid Camera” and “I sincerely don’t want to influence people’s interpretation” and “Elliptically, I would say…” So is the film, which apparently includes graphic scenes of drug use, a search for online sex, and a Ben Stiller pitch meeting, a serious look at a lost person or a dark spoof on celebrity culture? Either way, the joke feels like it’s on the audience. Casey Affleck as an artist is something magnificent. His performance in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was painful and exquisite. And Joaquin Phoenix brings an honest rawness to all of his roles. So I say, Please get back to work, gentlemen.

Am I too crabby by half or does all this hoax/no hoax talk make you yawn? Who amongst you already has their $10 in hand? Any other Assassination fans out there?

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