5.2/10
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4 user

American Fame Pt. 1: Drowning River Phoenix (2004)

Archer examines the short, tumultuous life of actor River Phoenix. The film explores the fame and pressure that defined Phoenix's life, along with his desire to become pure.

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Credited cast:
... River Phoenix
Barbara Ann Crumm ... LA Girl
... Himself
Lydia Lunch ... Narrator
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Archer examines the short, tumultuous life of actor River Phoenix. The film explores the fame and pressure that defined Phoenix's life, along with his desire to become pure.

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Fame kills. River drowns.


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May 2004 (USA)  »

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References Spirited Away (2001) See more »

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drowning River Phoenix's memory
14 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

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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