Playing Tue May 8 at 6:15 at at Film Society of Lincoln Center [Program & Tix]
FSLC continues their cumulative journey through “50 Years of the New York Film Festival” highlights. If you haven’t already, you need to read Dan Callahan’s deeply considered, semi-confessional feature on Idaho, followed by Matt Connolly’s meta-auteurist career profile of the stylistically protean director.
Gus Van Sant’s third feature film (technically, his fourth) is a landmark of both American independent filmmaking and art-fag aestheticism. It’s also the ultimate fetish object in the cult of River Phonenix, the youthful blonde actor whose tragically early death (drugs) came shortly after the release of Idaho.
Here’s a late interview with Phoenix, who’s a lot less charming here than he normally was on-screen, but it gives you an idea of what his attitude towards his art and career was like at the end. Asked to sum up the vagaries of movie stardom, Phoneix responds: “I found myself being blown by America’s film corporations.” Not coincidentally, that’s the first scene in Idaho.