Update 12/17: The short has since been pulled after allegations that Shia LaBeouf lifted the dialogue and scenes directly from the Daniel Clowes comic “Justin M. Damiano” first published in the collection “The Book Of Other People” edited by Zadie Smith in 2008.
“The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I’ve never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf,” Clowes told BuzzFeed. “I’ve never even seen one of his films that I can recall — and I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can’t imagine what was going through his mind.”
The world of celebrities, promotion, movies and marketing is one that can be particularly absurd, especially to those who live and work in it, day in and day out. From the idiosyncrasies of snooty critics to the pecking order of interview opportunities, the world movie promotion can be downright bizarre. And Shia LaBeouf has something to say about it.
He’s gone behind the camera and directed the short “Howardcantour.com.” Comedian Jim Gaffigan takes the titular lead role as the cranky “modern alternative” film critic, who is faced with the task of reviewing the latest work by his cinematic hero. Thomas Lennon and Portia Doubleday co-star as fellow writers and the 11-minute short is pretty witty, and mostly enjoys poking fun at this world without getting too didactic. Having screened earlier this year at the Cannes Critics’ Week and other festivals, it’s now available online for your enjoyment. Watch below. [FirstShowing]