Sunday, October 28, 2007

A World of Hurt

Joaquin Phoenix is only 33, the age Jesus was crucified and Alexander the Great died. Coming from a world of hurt, he looks older than his age and his acting roles seem to reflect this real life complexity. Much has been made of birth order recently, and the names parents give a kid must also play a heady role in their worldview. His unconventional parents were members of an offbeat religious group The Children of God (since renamed The Family of Love, The Family, and The Family International), one that had its members travel around the Americas. Joaquin is a middle child, between model-handsome River (1970-1993), sister Rain (b. Rainbow Joan of Arc Phoenix, 1972), and sisters Liberty (b. 1976), and Summer (1978). As a child, Joaquin named himself "Leaf." His parents eventually left The Children of God, and the children became actors. River, best known for his role in My Own Private Idaho (1991), died of a speedball overdose at the Hollywood Viper Club in 1993. Joaquin, who along with Rain was with him, made the 911 call. Over the years, after pensive retreat, Joaquin has emerged as a notable actor in his own right, though art continues to imitate life. Consider his roles as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005) and as Bobby Green in We Own the Night (2006).

As a final note, The Children of God took an effective if weird approach to the idea of becoming "fishers of men." To attract new members and solidify existing membership, "Flirty fishing" used sex as a lure. Apparently, it worked. One more example of reality being stranger than fiction.

Here's model, actress, photographer Suzy Parker (1932-2003), a belle of the ball in the 1950s, in dramatic red. One of the highest paid women in the world in her time, she's supposed to have quipped: "It's easy to be beautiful - just be born that way." Married three times with four children, she also observed that marriage kills romance. Nonetheless, her third marriage (to Bradford Dillman) lasted forty years -- until her death.

Today's Rune: Flow.



Johnny Yen said...

Great post, as always.

I've read that Parker Posey was named after Suzy Parker.

Bubs said...

ah yes, "flirty fishing" and the Children of God cult...It's a wonder any of the Phoenix children have made it through a childhood with parents like that.

Wonderful post.

luma said...

Joaquin Phoenix makes me to remember a dear friend!
Erik, plus an invitation for you. Accepted if to want! One "meme", where blog makes advertising of another one as if it was a marketing product. Beijus

Charles Gramlich said...

I like Joaquim PHoenix quite a bit. He's been very interesting in every movie I've seen him in, including, "the Village," "Gladiator," and "Walk the line."

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks all for the comments!

Luma, this sounds like a great idea, not sure if I have the time to do it justice!