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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:

Canticle of the Sun

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix

"Laudato si', mi Signore, per sora nostra matre terra, la quale ne sustenta et governa, et produce diversi fructi con coloriti flori et herba"

"Praise you, My Lord, for our sister the mother Earth, that sustains and cares for us, and produces various fruits with coloured flowers and grass."

He was an actor. An actor plays. Did he play only on the set or all the time?
"It's just a job". For him too?
When he was a child, he was the man.
When he was a man, he behaved like a child.
When he was a boy, he didn't receive any pills.
When he was a man, it seems he was full of vallium.
When he played on the sets, it seems he was the real River.
When he was outside, the real River was not the same as the real River on the sets.
He had difficulties to read.
He had to read all the scripts in order to choose.
He said: "For me my last movie is in the past and I don't feel any link with it as it was someone else than me I'm not responsible for".
He also said: "I immersed myself in another life, taken by the character. He expressed himself through me, not the opposite".
He kept the character's features for several weeks after the end of the making of the film.
Florida and California. Opposite sides of the USA, opposite sides of River?
He was bright.
He spoke so well of his job as an actor.
He had no real education.
He himself admitted to be confused in his own mind by the many and different personalities he had. He said up to 30!
When he played, the character was always a boy or a man in charge, and, even if anxious, knowing what to do.
When he lived, it seems he was more and more anxious about himself. Is it true? (Some even talk of sexual confusion, though I'm not sure what it means).
Was it for that anxiety he drank?
Was it for that he took drugs?
He took drugs.
He never admitted it to his close friends when it mattered.
He had the strongest and the cleanest image.
Did he want to protect that clean and pure image?
He wanted and he started to destroy that image he couldn't bear anymore.
"River" was his name
He wanted another name
In his pictures, he never smiles.
"River's a joker", it was said after his death.

All that has a name. A medical name: Schizophrenia. Was he schizophrenic? My own opinion, and you're right not to care about my opinion, is he had probably some schizoid tendencies. I agree he had a lot of good reasons to have them. And aren't all the good actors like that?

See the way he looks at the photographer, at us.
When he was young, his look was clear innocence, childhood truth with just a little anxiety.
When he grew up older, his gazes is more intense, deep, deep and sometimes mischievous.
Did he just want to get rid of the myth and the "goody-goody" image or did he want to tell the truth, knowing that telling the truth would be taken as a play?
Anyway all that has no importance now.

But his peers always respected him and loved him
He never changed his stands on life and nature.
He always was generous.
He always had compassion.

For once I feel I must explain the quotation used here. It's a famous poem called Laudes Creaturarum, or the Canticle of the Sun, written in old Italian by Saint Francis of Assisi, il Poverello, a salute of men to the sun, moon, earth and nature through their God. River could have written it. I chose it because from his birth to his death River felt what it expresses. The most beautiful saint, the brother of all living creatures, the one who used to speak with birds and animals was also River's brother.


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