Shia LaBeouf watched all 27 of his films last week as part of a performance art event titled #AllMyMovies that was livestreamed for the whole Internet to see.
With the advent of radio, Americans were able to hear from their leaders directly, such as the “fireside chats” during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. Then television came along, and people could view major world events as they happened.
And now, thanks to online livestreaming, we have Shia LaBeouf.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me enlighten you. Last week, actor Shia LaBeouf spent three days in a New York movie theater watching all 27 of the films he’s appeared in, in reverse chronological order. The “performance,” if you will, was aptly titled #AllMyMovies and was livestreamed for all of the world to see.
It’s safe to say I spent too much of my time last week watching Shia. I watched his face, illuminated in different colors by the flickering movie screen. I watched his mouth, making odd gestures and occasionally nibbling on a piece of pizza or some Sour Patch Kids.
And, most notably, I watched his eyes. The glossy, brown orbs stared intently at the movie screen for the 72-hour duration of the livestream. But more than that, they stared into my soul and into the souls of viewers everywhere.
I had never necessarily called myself a “fan” of Shia LaBeouf or his films, but his performance in #AllMyMovies changed my perspective. I was captivated by the emotion he portrayed while watching such cinematic wonders as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Surf’s Up and The Even Stevens Movie.
When Shia laughed, I laughed. When Shia cried, I cried. When Shia fell asleep, I suddenly felt the need to take a nap. And when Shia left the room to presumably visit the restroom or purchase food, I felt empty inside.
The livestream was mesmerizing, to say the least. I watched intently as Shia took off and put back on his several layers of coats. I noticed the interesting people around him in the audience, such as the man dressed like Kurt Cobain. I even saw security guards remove people from the theater, including a person wearing a paper bag similar to Shia’s infamous one.
However, I can’t quite pinpoint the reason why the livestream was, in my mind, such a success. Maybe it was the quality of the camera used, maybe it was Shia’s celebrity status or maybe it was how insanely “meta” the whole piece was. I’ll never know for sure.
But I can say with full certainty that it provided a hilarious, riveting three days of absurd entertainment. I’ll never forget Shia’s livestream, the people I watched it with and what was going on when it came into my life.