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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:


Joaquin Phoenix, Leaf Phoenix

My Own Private Idaho

Interview With The Vampire

Mike Waters

Scott Favor


Christian Slater



Blade Runner

Ridley Scott




Movies of the 90's

Jurgen Muller


Hans Zimmer
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix
American EnglishEn Français

Movies of the 90's

by Jürgen Müller
First published in 2001

ISBN 3-8228-5878-1 (Paperback, 804 Pages)

Here's a film reference book that is so well illustrated that the large, beautiful, full color movie-stills almost become a distraction. Nearly two-inches thick, the book features not only movies from Hollywood but from all around the world.

The glossy, high-quality and professional presentation of the finished book is somewhat let down by the odd typographical error and the author's misconception that the year 2000 was part of the 1990's but this oversight at least results in the movie Gladiator being included in the book and the review features six pictures including three of Joaquin Phoenix as Emperor Commodus.

Gladiator is a typical example of Ridley Scott's preference for imperfect heroes and huge extravagant sets, as in Blade Runner (1982) and Alien (1979). Although many of the movie's conflicts are not actually resolved, Gladiator is visually overwhelming. Scott isn't always too particular with historical truth, but his dizzyingly sensual compositions, the fantastic editing, the excellent music of Hollywood's star composer Hans Zimmer and the brilliant acting - particularly from Joaquin Phoenix as the incestuous, evil Commodus - make Gladiator an exciting and impressive historical movie.

The 1994 movie Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is also listed, including a couple of photographs of Christian Slater as the interviewer Malloy, although no mention is made of this last-minute casting change.

However, it is for the four-page review of the 1991 film My Own Private Idaho that we present this book here. Again, there are numerous full-color photographs included which feature, among others, Mike Waters' magazine cover shot, the campfire scene in the Idaho desert, and the picture of him in the bath staring forlornly into the huge wall mirror to the side of him. The caption for that photograph reads "Even in the mirror Mike sees somebody else."

The whole review is an insightful and touching piece of writing, but a surprisingly inaccurate description of River's death as "all alone outside a nightclub" leaves the reader wondering if it's not just Ridley Scott who isn't always concerned with historical truth.

Mike thinks he has finally found the love of his life in Scott. They go off together to find Mike's mother and the search takes them as far as Ostia at the gates of Rome. But wherever he starts out from, Mike never really gets anywhere. An Italian girl wins Scott's heart and Mike is distraught. Scott returns to normal life, but Mike's life remains suspended: he is a streetwalker in Rome, a streetwalker in Portland, on the street in Idaho. He finds neither his mother nor his place in society, and unlike Odysseus, his wanderings are a continuous cycle with no end.

My Own Private Idaho has many layers of stories from literature and film; unravelling them helps us to forget the missing happy end.

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