The River Phoenix Pages
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This documentary film, directed and produced by William Parry and shown on Channel 4 Television in the UK as part of the Celluloid Icons season, focussed on River as an icon for gay men, lesbians and bisexuals. River's relaxed attitude to sexuality coupled with his sensitive performance in "My Own Private Idaho" as a gay man looking for love rather than merely sex made him a role model for many gay people who feel he had integrity and sensitivity apart from the Hollywood norm.I'd welcome contributions to this page from anyone else who watched the film. E-mail your thoughts, reactions or whatever. I'll only add your email address if specifically asked to do so.
The film featured contributions from four young people who identified with River, particularly in his role as Mike Waters in Idaho together with interviews with Mike Parker (the basis for the Mike Waters character) and Abigail Greenberg, River's personal assistant.
Particularly interesting was Mike Parker's explanation of how River re-wrote the famous Idaho campfire scene - River had asked Mike how he would have behaved in such a situation. Two days later he showed the new script he had written to Mike and asked him "Do you think this is pretty close to how you feel?". Mike said simply "Yes".
"Up until that point, the idea of actually loving another man was something which in notional terms I couldn't deal with. Watching that scene, and watching River be so incredibly honest in his portrayal and so moving in his portrayal was really big." -Jason Alvey
"The main reason he did have such an effect on people was that he was the person that he came across to be...he did stand for, and wouldn't back down from, his values...it wasn't just an act, he did believe in those things" - Abigail Greenberg
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