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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:

Music Hobby

Silent Tongue

Stand By Me

The Mosquito Coast

My Own Private Idaho

Chris Chambers

Gordie Lachance

Teddy Duchamp

Vern Tessio
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix

"For me, the ideal pleasure, what makes me really happy, is to create something new"

No use to be long here. Ten seconds of his eyes, of the anxiety through his eyes in The Mosquito Coast, ten seconds of his frail being in charge in Stand By Me, ten seconds of him near a fire at night in Idaho and we knew he was extraordinary.

Even if it is not the actor we love but the real man, it is him as an actor we first met and he essentially remained that as long as he lived for 99 % of us. Now we still see him, we can only see him as an actor.

I've seen Silent Tongue very recently. He almost doesn't speak in the movie! He grieves for his dead wife as we've grieved for him. Each time he is on the screen, we don't see anybody else, we are suffering with him breathless. His presence is overwhelming. He is more ghostly than the real ghost (played by a very good actress). We almost are not interested in the rest of the story and we could have watched an entire film about his struggle with his own mind. Have you noticed like me he was not able to win before his father and his wife's sister helped him?

Actors aren't a different breed, they're not moral beacons, they're just a little better known than you and me. Actually I'm not interested at all in actors and actresses and they could be complete assholes as long as they're good enough for making films.

HE was different. Indeed, in River's case, the revelation of him as a man just came to us through his acting. His acting, really? It was even said he wasn't a good actor because he was not able to play any other part than the real himself. Then he was at his best. This is probably true. But for me he was extraordinary in everything he has done on screens. Because he had to be himself, either in the good or in the not-so-good films.

He was proud of his job. He was not just a puppet. As soon as he was able to, he chose his films himself. They were different and risky: "What inspires me as a priority is the quality of the written word and the script, not any strategy."

He was a clever actor: "My ultimate goal is to try to give in a competent manner a voice to the characters that didn't have the right to speak yet.(...) Usually I write the deepen biography of the character. This is the only possible way for me."

He enjoyed playing: "I could play the same character without limits, each time in a different way. As many times as I've got atoms in my body."

Not an actor but the real River played. When he was playing, the real River was living for us. First with his eyes. By the way he looked at other characters, at you, at me, at himself deep inside. And we were touched.

"Parce que c'était lui, parce que c'était moi..."

"Because it was him, because it was me..."

I don't know his friends. I know some names. I know he needed "father" friends from the beginning to the end of his career. Friends of his age he met in his surroundings, in cinema, in music. As he loved music, he had several friends he used to play music with. Music is the best thing to do with friends. It's fun and you laugh so much together. It's real life. I envy these friends.

But they bring nothing particular to him in my present concern. Anyway they brought him "joie de vivre" for a while and that's good enough.

I prefer not to mention the friends who would have been better far away from him.

I've got an unfair question, unfair because I've no right to ask it. But do his true friends of when he lived think of him sometimes? Do they mention his name publicly when they've got the opportunity? How many times did they do it since he died?

All I know about friendship and River is here:

I am his friend,
I pay respect to his memory as a friend
There is almost not a day he is not with me,
I love what he was,
I love the memory he left us,
I love what he still is,
I care for him.

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