Joaquin Phoenix Freak-Out 'Not a Hoax,' Affleck SaysA buzz preceded actor Casey Affleck's directorial debut, 'I'm Still Here': Was the movie about brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix's seemingly downward spiral from actor to hip-hop musician really a no-holds-barred documentary -- or was it just a set up?

On Monday in Venice, where his film was screened out of competition at the Film Festival, Affleck said he's leaving the answer up to the audience.

"Elliptically, I would say ... I sincerely don't want to influence people's interpretation," Affleck told reporters. "I can tell you there is no hoax. It makes me think of 'Candid Camera' or something."

The film is full of dark, sometimes graphic scenes about the Academy Award-nominated Phoenix, whose decision to go for a music career and concurrent decline was fodder for late-night comics.

In one scene, Phoenix banters about the irony of his life being depicted in film, when he is trying to get away from the industry. The film follows Phoenix to his last acting and press events, where he grumbles that he "hates" acting.