Right now, for the price of a movie ticket, you can watch Shia LaBeouf paling around with enormous extraterrestrial robots in the third installment of the Transformers franchise, running and yelling and making with cracks so wise that one could almost forget one is helping to bankroll the career of a dude named Shia LaBeouf. The guy is everywhere these days, it seems, in co-starring thrillers and Wall Street sequels when not getting caught up in bar fracases or crashing cars or getting thrown out of chain pharmacies; he's kind of like a young, bad-boy John Cusack.
[jump] It's been fun to watch him involving himself in projects that no A-list Hollywood up-and-comer should bother with at an age when there's all kinds of hard partying to, and I don't mean like celeb-intellectual/semi-ironic pursuits (cf. John Krasinski, James Franco), but activities that aren't likely to impress anybody other than a cult of fifteen-year old. Directing Cage and Kid Cudi videos, seriously? Now comes the news that LaBeouf plans to direct a Marilyn Manson documentary, which is hilarious, because even Marilyn Manson probably isn't interested in seeing a Marilyn Manson documentary at this point. Gimme Noise just got word that LaBeouf has even more obscure, bizarre projects in the pipeline involving musicians, rappers, and psychopaths who you've never heard of or just plain forgot about.
LaBeouf met Lucas Abela while browsing human skulls for sale on the streets of Tijuana, Mexico; Abela, who was in town to participate in an experimental music festival, mistook LaBeouf for Joseph Gordin-Levitt, and the two men struck up what LeBeouf described as "an admittedly surreal conversation, with LaBeouf staying in character as Gordin-Levitt, until an outburst of gang violence sent the pair running for cover. The South Wales-based Abela specializes in outre performances involving gigantic, sharp pieces of glass, instruments upon which he usually winds up cutting himself and bleeding profusely. "His sets are wild, fucked up, you don't know whether to puke or zone out or ask someone else to phone a medic," LaBeouf exclaimed. Inspired in part by Andres Serrano's art for Metallica's Load album cover, LaBeouf, under the pseudonym "Xavier LaBeowulf," obtained, with Abela's expressed permission, blood the musician shed during his 2010 performances and painted a crude series of concentrated, claustrophobic minature paintings depicting scenes from Dante's Inferno. New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl described the canvases as "ineffably maximal, Warhol for vampires."
The Insane Clown Posse
Think there's no way that "Shia LeBeouf" and "The Insane Clown Posse" belong in the same sentence? Guess again. LeBeouf, Violent J, and Shaggy 2 Dope have been hunkered down together in the shock-rappers' Detroit compound on and off since late 2009, writing, arranging, and conceptualizing a film that J describes as "kind of a cross between Jaws and the Left Behind movies and Music For Airports." No release date has been set, but Rick Rubin, Sinead O'Connor, and Three 6 Mafia are rumored to be involved.
"Really, we were just bored, sitting around in my penthouse counting and ironing Benjamins and blasting Whitehouse, like, 'What is the most pointless and as a result awesome thing we could do together?'" LeBeouf says, recalling the genesis of the clothing line he's creating with rocker/inspirational speaker/TV host Andrew W.K. The pair reasoned that America needed a line of garish, obscenely expensive t-shirt/skate-shorts ensembles, and thus Flawless was born, inspired by the hapless American Idol Season 8 contestant of the same name. "And basically our strategy has been that we're actively promoting the brand, but never talk about it, we just try to wear this shit all say every day, just living it and sweating in it and rocking it, and when people ask about it there's a pause and we nod and say 'Flawless' without any kind of elaboration. No, nobody's buying these clothes, but that was never the point anyway."