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drowning River Phoenix's memory

Author: jcarollo-1
14 December 2006

Maybe Archer's short was selected for Sundance because film people love River Phoenix's name regardless of what it's attached to, because this is not a complementary film. Archer's style would make him a great music video director, but it does no service to River's memory, and Archer clearly stole his entire short film's device -- River's haunting voice over -- from that Biography channel show. That show didn't include Joaquin's famous panicked 911 call, and it's clear Archer never heard that recording, because he recreates it as if Joaquin was bored and blasé. Drowning River Phoenix indeed. I'd compare Archer to a budding David Fincher, but don't check this out if you're a fan of River.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: Charles Spano from Los Angeles, California
9 August 2004

DRP was the first Cam Archer movie I saw, back in the Spring of 2003, and it immediately made me sit up and note that he's the real deal. DRP is an ambitious, far-reaching and idealistic film because it exhibits a belief in the medium's ability to examine, debate and ultimately come to terms with real world events and ideas that effect our lives. The film, in a way, is essayic because it attempts to address a question and pose more questions; it is not simply the result of a process, it is process. Cam has managed to create a new sort of documentary that is more poetry, introspection and visceral inquisition than it is journalism. DRP is as much about making a film about River as it is a film about River. If Godard had cut his teeth in the pages of Teen Beat instead of the Cahiers du Cinema, he'd be making movies like this one.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Pseudo Hip Indie Trash

Author: chivalry_is_dead from United States
12 April 2005

This is the kind of art school garbage that people pretend to like because it's so bad. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in attendance at AFI had their minds boggled at how this even got into the festival. It's terribly pretentious and the director who spoke there came across as just as just what his film was, full of more sh*t than a whale with no ass.

On a side note, the only reason this film even got into festivals was because of the director's "relationship" with Gus van Sant.

Shame on the festivals without the integrity to see this film for what it really was: a shameless exploitation of a celebrity who passed away years ago.

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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Not very good at all.

Author: nhikrath from Santa Cruz
19 May 2005

I saw this movie on SCTV and it was horrible. Cam is a classmate of mine, but his films are still the perfect example of Gen-X post-modern bull crap. It pulled basically every "I'm a forlorn movie" cliché you can imagine, even having unnecessary underwater shots, which is just laughable. Connecting the word "river" to the word "drowning" is as stupid as wannabe-clever ideas come. Cam's entrance into the festival world came solely because of his involvement as a volunteer at the events, and the connections he made, and had little to do with his film-making potential, which has its greatest moment when he hired and subsequently began mooching off his excellent cinematographer, Aaron Platt.

People talk about a Godard-like style, but apparently nobody's seen a Godard movie, because these movies are nothing like them. Just because it has jump cuts and is surreal, doesn't mean it's like Godard. You have to be a good storyteller and have an interesting concept in order to even come close, and this film fails in both aspects. Boring, meandering, etc.

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