Sissy Hankshaw is born with enormous thumbs that help her hitchhiking through the US from a young age. She becomes a model in advertising and her NY agent 'the Countess' sends her to his ... See full summary »
Mad with grief after the death of his Kiowa wife, Talbot awaits death under a tree with her body beside him. She begins to haunt him because he won't burn her. His father, who bought him the wife, thinks her sister might reason with him.
1963, the night before the 18 years old "Birdlace" Eddie and his friends are shipped to Vietnam. They play a dirty game called 'Dogfight': all of them seek a woman for a party, and who ... See full summary »
An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build an ice factory in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher ... See full summary »
A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »
A recent high school graduate is faced with two options, either go to a business school where his father wants him to go to, or get a full time job. However he decides to defy his father ... See full summary »
Dealing with nuclear testing and its long-lasting deadly effects, the story portrays Boy, a young widower living in the desert on a nuclear testing site. Living as a hermit,he waits for the... See full summary »
Surreal character study focusing on the friendship between two male hustlers, Mike and Scott, in Portland, Oregon. They live on the streets, do drugs, and sell themselves to men and women. Mike is quiet, gay and suffers from narcolepsy. Abandoned as a child, he is obsessed with finding his long-lost mother. Scott is the rebellious son of a high-ranking family, who lives this life mostly to embarrass his father. Mike is in love with Scott, who still maintains he is straight and insists that his wild lifestyle on the streets is only temporary. Together, they embark on a quest to find Mike's mother, traveling from Portland to Idaho to Italy, with Scott picking up a beautiful girl along the way. Written by
Keanu Reeves' character was partially based on a hustler named Scott whom Gus Van Sant met. The real Scott was an acquaintance of the real Mike, and like in the film, Scott came from an upper-middle class family. Van Sant says he "was very taken with the odd juxtaposition of all these poor, cast-off street children being peers with a boy who could quote Fyodor Dostoevsky." See more »
At the campfire scene, whenever the camera shows Scott, Mike's hands are hanged to each other, but whenever the camera shows Mike, he is playing with piece of wood. See more »
I'm afraid if I shared your wine, I might catch this awful disease you appear to have. My jacket would grow little zippers all over it and my toes would have jingle bells on them like those there.
See more »
Odd, touching, River Phoenix is intensely brilliant..
This is the movie that I sincerely hope River Phoenix will long be remembered for. His performance as the narcoleptic and confused street-hustler Mike is so perfect and touching and realistic that it makes me cry every time. Gus Van Sant's films often have a strange aura about them (see Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For) and never has it been more evident than in this oddly affecting road movie/drama. The camera shots of long horizon-spanning roads and skylines, fast-motion clouds, surreal and symbolic shots of houses and rushing rivers provide the film with a strange almost other-worldly charm. Interspersed with the gritty realism of life on the streets of Portland Oregon in the early 90's, and (stranger still) Shakespeare. Some of the plot (Bob and Scott mainly) is based on the Shakespeare play Henry IV (with Keanu Reeves playing the Prince Hal character of Scott, and William Richert playing the Falstaff-like role of "King-Of-The-Streets" Bob.) It's a fascinating, touching and very successful blend of styles overall. The big themes (the search for love and belonging) are conveyed in a very interesting and genuinely moving manner. I particularly enjoyed the symbolism and pathos the film flittingly suggests. The performances are uniformly excellent, and this movie remains one of my all-time favourites. One of the greatest (and most unique) indie movies of the 1990's.
56 of 65 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?