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Joaquin Phoenix.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn February 12, 2009 at 6:34AM

Joaquin Phoenix.
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Joaquin Phoenix should blog, or at least get a MySpace page, if he's really serious about this music career thing. Put some mp3s out there or something. At the very least, he should release some statement of purpose instead of allowing the media to create an utterly confounding portrait of his current state. The Letterman performance is pretty funny, though.

But he's not really serious, right? It's a total Andy Kauman-esque ruse, as a million people keep insisting. I say this with a fair degree of certainty, but also a certain amount of trepidation. He's a talented actor, although I wasn't really all that wowed by his recent work until I finally got around to seeing Two Lovers this week. A contemporary Phillip Roth story as if reimagined by Alfred Hitchcock, it's a fascinatingly complex psychological study under the guise of a romantic tragedy. And much of its success comes from Phoenix's understated performance as a lonely man living with his parents and unsure where to place his priorities. I can't get it out of my head -- unlike that godawful tune from Phoenix's first public rap:

If Phoenix really does intend to pull a fast one, drop the beard and shout, "Surprise!" when Casey Affleck's documentary reaches completion, then you would think he'd expand on it a bit, drop some hints about what he's really doing so we Internet folks have something meaty to play around with. C'mon, Joaquin, don't you know how ARGs work? Well, maybe not.