Since the paper bag incident at the Berlin screening of his latest film, Shia LaBeouf has upped the oddness factor and he is now doing public penance for his plagiarism; or, he is partaking in some sort of publicity stunt. No one seems to know for sure. Out of all the folks who lined up, in a queue that appears to go around the block, to bear witness to LaBeouf’s bizarre version of self-flagellation some have written about their experience, but, no light has actually been shed on just what the actor is up to.
The 27 year-old Nymphomaniac star seems to be undergoing some sort of personal and peculiar meltdown. Taking into consideration the fact that LaBeouf is the same age as Amanda Bynes and that both actors started working regularly on television when they were in their early teens it stands to reason that Shia could be suffering from similar problems to Bynes. The Nickelodeon Easy A star went through a number of bizarre and very public incidents before being put under psychiatric observation where it was discovered that she had a form of schizophrenia.
Apart from apparently suffering some sort of public breakdown, the Transformers star has been reeling from his excursion into the world of directing and screenwriting. Sadly, LaBeouf borrowed rather liberally from the works of Brian Clowes, the author of Ghost World, and when he was caught out, his apology was borrowed from an old Yahoo! Answers forum. Having been caught twice plagiarising someone else’s creative content, LaBoeuf has spent a lot of time apologising.
Borrowed Twitter apologies aside, Shia has been behaving oddly. Too old at 27 to be a rebellious teen, LaBeouf has gone through a very strange few years. Starting in 2012, the actor went nude for an Icelandic music video, which no one seemed to see, or if they did, no one was too moved by seeing Shia in his birthday suit.
His next move was to star in the theatrical flop that was Charlie Countryman, original title The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which is basically what the film did at the box office; it too, died a death. Labeouf followed this up with his directorial debut with the short film HowardCantour.com which was immediately spotted as a plagiarized peice of work that was based on a comic by Clowes. After this was pointed out, Shia then went through his un-original apology and via Twitter posted that he was “not famous anymore.”
LaBeouf has been doing penance for his public, and pretty obvious, plagiarism or he is perpetrating a very sly publicity stunt in order to keep his name in the press. After walking out of the Berlin press conference for his latest film Nymphomaniac and attending the premiere in a tux complete with printed paper bag, which said he was not famous anymore, the Holes star has been acting odd.
His last bizarre act was to start this interactive live art exhibit where he sits wearing a paper bag over his head and members of the public pick an object – ranging from pliers to perfume – and sit in a small room with the bagged star. The shop where this takes place has a blanked out window with #IAMSORRY Shia LaBeouf printed on the front.
It is unclear if Shia is apologising for his plagiarism, Charlie Countryman, Nymphomaniac, or the film he worked on with Brad Pitt and Jason Isaacs. Reports from the set of that film, titled Fury, revealed that LaBeouf did not shower in an attempt to get into his character’s skin. His co-stars allegedly asked that he stay in a separate hotel during filming.
It does look like Shia LaBeouf has a lot to apologise for. He could be going through an Amanda Bynes type of meltdown or he could be doing a Joaquin Phoenix and setting the world up for some future personal project. Until things have been made clear, by Shia or a rep, he is keeping busy doing a very public form of penance for his plagiarism or participating in some sort of publicity stunt. Until Shia removes the bag and speaks, instead of crying silently, no one will know for sure.
By Michael Smith