Shia LaBeouf Borrows Enigmatic Footballer Quote For 'Nymphomaniac' Press Conference & Then Walks Out

Festivals
by Rodrigo Perez
February 9, 2014 10:21 AM
28 Comments
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A strange afternoon in Berlin today. Lars Von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac Part 1” (the long version that hasn’t been seen until now) screened this morning at the Berlin Film Festival, and the press conference that followed had a few head-scratching moments. First off, Lars Von Trier himself showed up wearing a Cannes “Persona Non Grata” T-shirt (an overt reference to his being banned from the French festival the year “Melancholia” played), but kept his vow to no longer speak to press by not appearing in the press conference.

Though it featured actors Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Stacy Martin, Stellan Skarsgård, producer Louise Vesth and Shia LaBeouf, without Lars, the “Nymphomaniac” press conference was pretty uneventful, the actors mostly talking about how liberating, safe and thoughtful a Lars Von Trier film set was and just how sensitive and considerate the filmmaker was. Not the picture most think of when they think of a guy making what many consider a two-part, four-hour art-house porn movie (our review coming soon and our scribe said, “it’s the greatest thing ever”).

But just as the press conference was moving along, Shia LaBeouf, wearing a cap over the brim of his eyes, finally spoke. And he said one word and then left. Taking a sip of water, he then said enigmatically, "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea,” and then got up and left (reports that he “stormed out” of the press conference are a bit of exaggeration as their were no anger to his words). After the recent plagiarism scandal, LaBeouf said he was “retiring from public life” and has often been tweeting “I am no longer famous,” so perhaps the stunt was in reference to his self-proclaimed non-celebrity status.

But what most people don’t realize is that LaBeouf’s comments are another sort of… well; let’s not say plagiarism, but a direct references (and possible homage) to the legendary Manchester United footballer and maverick French player Eric Cantona. Cantona was always known for his enigmatic comments in soccer press conferences, and LaBeouf’s quote is directly lifted from something Cantona said—right down to the sip of water and quiet exit (see both videos below). Football and cinema fans will remember “Looking For Eric,” the terrific 2009 Ken Loach film starring Cantona, much of which is based off of the strange, wise and baffling wisdom and comments that the footballer would say in press conferences over the years. In fact, he became famous for many of his weird abstractions when asked the most basic questions.

So is Shia stealing again, or being willfully playful and sly? It is a rather terrific reference, one must admit. The entire “Nymphomaniac” press conference will be online later today, but the good part is right below. Our review from the Berlinale shortly as well. Update: Rather amusingly, on the red carpet earlier in the day, the actor wore a black tux and bow tie, plus a bag with the words "I am not famous anymore" written on it.

Click here for all of our coverage from the 2014 Berlin Film Festival.

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28 Comments

  • cineman | February 14, 2014 1:56 AMReply

    Keeps on reminding me of line in documentary "Dig" where someone comments that the greats have often had meltdowns (massive paraphrasing), but at least they did something great first. At best The Beef is average with potential to be better.

  • Sangre | February 11, 2014 3:27 AMReply

    Two things to note here.

    1.) When Joaquin Phoenix acted out of ordinary for the master lot of people accepted it.

    2.) Ironically enough, Joaquin Phoenix's film "I'm still here" practically sums up the way the media reacts to such behavior.

    3.) In a supposed bully intolerant society that we live in, especially with the news media no less, I find it funny to make fun of this person to such an enormous extent that anyone would be borderline hypocritical.

    Lets except the scenario that this guy is trying to make a statement about copyright infringement. The bag thing is him just mocking the critics it seems. I'm not a fan of his, but the media, and internet have come down extremely hard on him since the Transformer films. It doesn't matter what he does, he will always have his extremely vocal critics.

  • - | February 10, 2014 2:44 PMReply

    "AM I JOAQUIN PHOENIX YET?!"

  • Lets Get Real pod | February 10, 2014 4:44 AMReply

    Looks like James Franco has a new running mate in the Hollywood performance art game.

  • Blame the Coffee | February 10, 2014 1:12 AMReply

    Was he ever? What a cocky little prick.

  • Joshua Polanski | February 9, 2014 9:48 PMReply

    He really likes borrowing from others.

    Jokes aside, I hope this is all intentional stuff, there is nothing funny about a mental breakdown regardless of how obnoxious the person may seem.

  • GERARD KENNELLY | February 9, 2014 8:37 PMReply

    cannes don't want lars von trier
    but they showed Polanski latest
    a man who anally raped a 13 year old

  • Cass | February 9, 2014 11:43 PM

    P.S. Shia, don't steal my jokes. You my think you're being wittily ironic, others who are stolen from find it to be a lowdown, opportunistic move.

  • Cass | February 9, 2014 11:41 PM

    We need to invent a new meme for Woody Allen. Although, the victim only being 7, a certain amount of tact may be in order. Maybe not quite so creepily graphic? I feel like I'm watching The Accused here.

  • Coloidal | February 9, 2014 8:57 PM

    Everytime you say that an angel gets its wings.

  • CrazyxCrazy | February 9, 2014 8:24 PMReply

    HOW DARE HE SPEAKETH THE GODS WORDS. I HEX YOU LEBOOF I HEX THEE

  • jingmei | February 9, 2014 8:13 PMReply

    This article is well done. Pity Charlotte Gaingbourg didn't show up.

  • Joshua Polanski | February 9, 2014 7:06 PMReply

    He really likes borrowing from others.

    Jokes aside, I hope this is all intentional stuff, there is nothing funny about a mental breakdown regardless of how obnoxious the person may seem.

  • Nan | February 9, 2014 3:27 PMReply

    I would've want to hear Lars's jokes and what Charlotte had to say. Though it's good to see Christian Slater and Uma Thurman back up there. Also wished Udo Kier and Willem Dafoe were there.

  • gold | February 9, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    I want Lars Shirt. It's Awesome.

  • silver | February 9, 2014 3:25 PM

    And I want Shia's paperbag. Nymphomaniac merchandise please.

  • John Thomas | February 9, 2014 1:32 PMReply

    Jesus Stacy Martin is pretty. I hope that we get to see her in more movies.

  • brad pitt54321 | February 9, 2014 8:37 PM

    what more of her is there to see ? ? ? ? ?
    ha ha ha

  • das | February 9, 2014 11:56 AMReply

    This is so forced

  • Ken | February 9, 2014 11:50 AMReply

    I don't really care. I'm not sure why I clicked on something with Shia LaBeouf's name. I am promising myself I won't make the same mistake again. I will to do my part to make his dreams of obscurity come true.

  • Heather | February 9, 2014 10:55 AMReply

    I love how Christian Slater is clapping. I'm rooting for Shia to be the next Joaquin Phoenix.

  • Eso | February 11, 2014 8:41 AM

    Yup he was also great in charlie countryman and company you keep. I'm rooting for the guy too.

  • mass | February 11, 2014 3:31 AM

    @Barton I completely disagree. He was actually pretty good in Lawless, and I heard that he is really good in Nymphomaniac. Heck, he was even pretty good in Disturbia. It's not necessarily his whole performance, but just little details that he performs out in his films that show he could be an extremely great actor.

  • Barton | February 9, 2014 6:13 PM

    Problem with that comparison is that Joaquin Phoenix is actually a vastly talented actor and Shia is at best a moderately talented idiot with a bag over his head.

  • Jamie | February 9, 2014 10:46 AMReply

    Christ! I love all the stunt the people behind this movie are doing! Honestly this makes me happy. The movie looks great and now this is the real "drama". Though I'd love to hear what Lars had to say. More Lars and Shia team up please. lol

  • stop encouraging this cut | February 9, 2014 10:30 AMReply

    Try that. Just ignore what ever publicity stunt he pulls. Don't report anything what this fellow says. Ignore him. He'll stop. Only report if he dies of O.D or something like that.

  • Ahsoka23 | February 9, 2014 2:22 PM

    Exactly. This is all for publicity. I care more about what Charlotte Gainsbourg has to say about the film than Shia.

  • frank | February 9, 2014 10:27 AMReply

    in for more circle jerk hate.

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