Re-Watch: My Own Private Idaho (1991)

My Own Private Idaho
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Gus Van Sant
Based on: William Shakespeare‘s Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V (loosely)
Cast: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert, Rodney Harvey, Chiara Caselli, Flea, Grace Zabriskie, Udo Kier
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
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Plot:
Mike (River Phoenix) and Scottie (Keanu Reeves) are hustlers, living in the streets of Portland. Scottie has been living this way for longer than Mike and shows Mike the ropes a little, introducing him to Bob Pigeon (William Richert) who is something between a pimp and a father figure for a lot of more or less homeless hustlers in the city. Scottie also takes care of Mike when he has one of his narcoleptic spells. Despite their closeness, there’s a chasm between Mike and Scottie as Mike doesn’t have many choices to live the way he does, while Scottie comes from a rich family and chose to hustle to embarrass them.

I saw My Own Private Idaho around 20 years ago and I understood very little of it back then. Seeing it now, opened up the film to me much more. That in itself is already a beautiful experience, but even without that part of the experience, the film is wonderful.

The film poster showing River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves.
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Daughters of the Dust (1991)

Daughters of the Dust
Director: Julie Dash
Writer: Julie Dash
Cast: Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, Barbarao, Trula Hoosier, Umar Abdurrahamn, Adisa Anderson, Kaycee Moore, Bahni Turpin, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Tommy Redmond Hicks, Cornell Royal, M. Cochise Anderson
Seen on: 28.11.2017
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Plot:
It is the beginning of the 20th century and the still rather new abolishment of slavery tempts the Peazant family to leave the islands they have been living on and to attempt their luck on the USAmerican mainland. The islands and their isolation gave them the possibility to preserve some of their African ancestral traditions – the Gullah culture. So not everybody is willing to actually leave, while others can hardly wait. In any case, it’s time to make decisions.

Daughters of the Dust is an in the best sense unusual film in many ways. It is absolutely stunning in so many ways. It’s a film you should definitely watch – and then re-watch.

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Child’s Play 3 (1991)

Child’s Play 3
Director: Jack Bender
Writer: Don Mancini
Sequel to: Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2
Cast: Justin WhalinPerrey ReevesJeremy SylversTravis FineDean JacobsonBrad DourifPeter HaskellDakin Matthews
Seen on: 12.9.2017
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Plot:
Andy (Justin Whalin) has grown into a teenager, despite all attempts from Chucky (Brad Dourif). As Andy starts military school, it seems a new chapter in his life starts. But Chucky also starts a new chapter in his existence – and he wants to begin by getting rid of Andy once and for all. He befriends a young boy, Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers) who stays at the same school as Andy and starts plotting.

Child’s Play 3 quite literally lost the plot that was just way too riddled with holes and was therefore the weakest of the film series so far.

[SPOILERS, but rather vague ones]

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Re-Watch: Point Break (1991)

Point Break
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: W. Peter Iliff
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, James Le Gros, John Philbin, Bojesse Christopher (and Anthony Kiedis)
Seen on: 26.1.2016

Plot:
Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) just aced his FBI training and is ready to go into the field. He is assigned to long-served, cranky Pappas (Gary Busey) who is less than happy about having to take care of this newbie. But in Johnny, Pappas finds somebody not only willing to listen to his theory that a string of successful bank robberies is committed by a group of surfers, but to do something about it. Johnny starts to learn to surf with the help of Tyler (Lori Petti) and gets closer with the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) who soon becomes their prime suspect.

Point Break has many strengths, though it isn’t a perfect film. But both Swayze and Reeves are perfectly cast (which, especially in Reeves’ case is important). Their chemistry together make the film as worthwhile as it is.

pointbreak

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No Skin Off My Ass (1991)

No Skin Off My Ass
Director: Bruce La Bruce
Writer: Bruce La Bruce
Cast: Bruce La Bruce, Klaus von Buecker, G.B. Jones, Caroline Azar
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 16.6.2015

Plot:
A hairdresser (Bruce La Bruce) stumbles on a skinhead (Klaus von Buecker) in a park. The skin obivously isn’t doing too well and the hairdresser has a thing for skinheads (their style and look, not their political stance), so it’s in both their interest when the hairdresser invites the skin home. But the question is whether there will become more of their relationship.

No Skin Off My Ass is a charming and frankly just extremely funny film. Pretty much all of it is very tongue in cheek, with a little provocation thrown into the mix. I enjoyed it a lot.

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Delicatessen (1991)

Delicatessen
Director: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writer: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Gilles Adrien
Cast: Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Karin Viard, Ticky Holgado, Anne-Marie Pisani, Edith Ker

Plot:
In a post apocalyptic world with very scarce food supplies, a butcher Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) has resorted to cannibalism. He usually posts an ad for a job and whoever takes it up, soon ends up on the plates of all the tenants in the house. Former clown Stan (Dominique Pinon) is the newest hire. But he’s lucky enough that Clapet’s daughter Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac) takes a shine to him and tries the best to save him.

Delicatessen is an extremely weird film. It’s the kind of crackpot you usually only get in Japanese films and it’s a whole lot of fun.

delicatessen

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Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Wesley Stick
Based on: John D. MacDonald‘s novel The Executioners
Remake of: Cape Fear
Cast: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Joe Don Baker

Plot:
Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) is a successful lawyer with a nice family. But when Max Cady (Robert De Niro) – who Sam defended for raping a young girl, but not very well – is released from prison, Max starts to threaten Sam’s entire life and family. He stalks all of them, but particularly Sam’s daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis), but always just within the law – until he forces Sam to resort to desperate measures.

Since I wasn’t that into the original, I didn’t expect much from this film. But this film has three things the original didn’t have: Scorsese, a modern feel and some idea of feminism. I liked it a lot.

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