I like to think I have many talents. I make videos. I write. But if I had to choose the one thing I have that’s a superhuman power, it’s sneaking into places. For example, I once bought tickets to a Frank Ocean show on Craigslist. When I got to the door, security told me the tickets were fake and, I kid you not, 30 minutes later I was inside watching the show—from backstage.
Shia LaBeouf is a man with many talents of his own. He can act. He can get drunk. He can cry. But far and away his greatest gift is just being a freak. For the last 72 hours, LaBeouf has been watching all of his movies in reverse chronological order at the Angelika Movie Theater in New York. And he has invited the public to come watch him watch his own films for free as some sort of performance art.
When I got to the Angelika, the line to get in wrapped around the block. I asked the ticket counter guy if there was some sort of expedited press line, to which he said “nope.” So I bought a ticket for whatever movie was playing next, I think it was I Smile Back. Then I nonchalantly walked past all the chumps in line, presented my not-yet-valid ticket, and was let past security. I then found my way into Shia’s screening room (Theater One to anyone attempting to sneak in today).
Inside, the room looked less like the fully functioning theater I’ve seen a million movies in and more like a squat house.
Shia was not letting the staff kick anyone out. People were sleeping on the floor and living off popcorn, all to bask in the greatness of the temperamental thespian’s filmography.
I walked in right at the moment Transformers started. Shia was eating pizza and his bro-y friend screamed “YEAH MY MAN SHIA LEBEOUF” and then high-fived a bunch of their other bro-y friends. It was clear that no one was really watching the movie, not just because Transformers is a terrible movie, but because it’s impossible to take the film seriously when one of the actors is present. Maybe that’s the point?
Brilliant performance artist or narcissistic asshole? That’s for you to decide. But man, did Transformers suck.