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
1-gif-review

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.
Continue reading

Explorers (1985)

Explorers
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Eric Luke
Cast: Ethan Hawke, River PhoenixJason Presson, Amanda PetersonJames CromwellDana Ivey, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Ben (Ethan Hawke) dreams of a circuit board. He makes a drawing and gives it to his technologically well-versed friend Wolfgang (River Phoenix). They are joined by Darren (Jason Presson) and discover that Ben actually dreamt up a spaceship which they immediately start building, of course, and then even flying.

I never saw Explorers when I was a child (I wonder why? I saw so many Dante movies…) and I did feel that I was missing a certain nostalgic point of connection to really enjoy it. But it was a supercute adventure film with a sweet cast and I would watch it again.

explorers

Continue reading