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"Is there anybody here who can tell us why River took all those drugs?"
So shouted director, John Boorman, restless and frustrated that the realities and truth behind the death of River Phoenix were not being faced up to during his memorial service.
It is also a sentiment felt by all those who worked together to build this site.
By his own admission, River loathed the teen-pinup image that Hollywood created. When asked what he thought about the word 'heart-throb', he would reply without missing a beat, "I think of a heart with clogged arteries". He would then go on to say, "If I see my face on the cover of a magazine I go into remission. I shut myself out and freak. I don't like being out there."
So what would he have made of a web-site whose sole purpose is to highlight, worship and preserve that image forever? The "World Wide Web" as a medium is perhaps in line with the young actor's highly commendable environmental concerns. After all, one doesn't have to chop down a great many trees to produce a web page. But as for our choice of subject, well, we imagine he would be as mad as hell.
So why is this site here then?
Well River, we're mad as hell too. Mad that an actor with limitless talent and capable of the most mesmerising performances had to die in the gutter. We're mad because we will never see you win that Oscar. Mad that the world will never see By Way of Fontana or any film directed by River Phoenix. We're mad that the ending of Stand By Me no longer leaves us with a tear in our eye but with a bitter ache in our hearts. Martha Plimpton's brave remarks at your funeral speak for all of us. "I don't want to be comforted by his death. I think it's right that I'm angry about it, angry at the people who helped him stay sick, and angry at River."
So we're sorry River, but if you don't like it - too bad.
Yes - Rio's Attic is a memorial site, it's a site that we hope goes some way to documenting his life's work - the projects he was a part of, the important issues he raised and the many things he achieved during his short lifetime. If, by creating this site, we can show people that maybe River should be remembered for a little more than just the way he died, then we will have achieved our aim.
We've been trying to imagine what River would have been doing recently if the tragic events of that fateful Halloween morning had turned out differently. The last time he saw his father, in Costa Rica, River finally agreed to follow his father's wishes and promised that he would quit the movie business for good. Just as soon, in fact, as his commitments to Dark Blood and Interview With The Vampire were fulfilled.
So one thing's for certain - it seems we would have lost River anyway. He would now be living in Costa Rica working in his father's vegan restaurant far, far away from the public eye, the photographers and the bright lights of Hollywood. We don't know how you would have felt about that but, as far as the Rio's Attic Administrators are concerned, compared to how we all actually did lose River, well, losing River to Costa Rica would have been a price we would have paid a thousand times.