Kiefer Sutherland is telling me a story. Pushing his silk scarf to one side while rearranging his heavy-framed glasses, he is recalling the making of one of his first films, 1986’s Stand By Me and how he unwittingly influenced its title. “I was teaching River [Phoenix] how to play the guitar,” he says, “and at that point the film was still called The Body [after the Stephen King short story on which it was based]. The first song I taught him was “Stand By Me”. [Director] Rob Reiner was walking over and went: ‘Oh man, I haven’t heard that for so long!’ Soon after, the film got retitled.” Sutherland is quite the storyteller. It’s the combination of his gravelly voice and the glint in his eye – or perhaps it’s his green velvet jacket, which lends an air of Jackanory to proceedings.

Read the full interview here

He has worked with everyone from Andy Warhol to Lars von Trier – as well as gone underage drinking with Rainer Fassbinder and chatted up hustlers with River Phoenix

Kier moved to London to study English in 1965, hoping to find clerical work. Despite no acting aspirations, he was spotted and cast in a comedy short, 1966’s Road To Saint Tropez, then was discovered time and time again: Andy Warhol’s director Paul Morrissey met him on a plane and cast him as Frankenstein, and then Dracula; Van Sant, who had loved Kier in those roles, met him at the Berlin film festival in 1986 and offered him his first American role, in the street hustler drama My Own Private Idaho. Shooting it in Portland, Oregon, Kier immediately bonded with River Phoenix who, as the narcoleptic gigolo Mike, was method acting, referring to Kier as his character Hans, demanding he pay for everything.

One night, Phoenix asked Kier to come out with him and find some genuine gigolos on the streets, for research. Phoenix wore sunglasses, hanging back while Kier made contact; they had arranged that Phoenix would kick him when one piqued his interest. “We went to a group on a corner, where the real hustlers were. I talked to a few boys and River kicked me. So I said to the boy: ‘Look, I don’t want anything from you, but I’ll pay you some money, let’s just have a drink.’ And we went to a bar and River sat in the corner and I interviewed the boy: ‘What was the worst thing you had to do for money,’ etc. River wanted to know what was going on.”

Read the full interview here

From first love to first heartbreak, and everything in-between.

Stand By Me (1986)
Four best friends head out into the woods, away from adults — is there a better template for a coming-of-age film? Stand By Me, based on a novella written by Stephen King, is equal parts suspenseful and bittersweet.

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Sometimes the dead don’t come back wrong. Sometimes they don’t come back at all. Read More here

Mar 16 – Mar 21 @ TBA – My Own Private Idaho(Ruth Sokolof, 1340 Mike Fahey Street, Omaha, NE) / x

Added screencaps from the following to the Gallery.
* Television Appearances / Surviving
* PhoenixClan / ‘Maid to Order’ (Rain Phoenix)

Outside record producer Rick Rubin’s Hollywood Hills home, drummer Josh Greenbaum sat in a silver Volvo with his friend and bandmate River Phoenix, the film actor. The rock-star Lenny Kravitz was with them. On the car’s stereo, Kravitz played Phoenix and Greenbaum a recording of a new song he’d written called “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” This was 1992, before that explosive tune would become the title track to Kravitz’s third album and era-defining music. Read More here

New song appears on double A-side single featuring unreleased songs by River Phoenix’s band Aleka’s Attic. Read More here

On the 25th anniversary of his death, the actor, activist, and reluctant heartthrob is an unevenly remembered icon of 90s alternative culture. Read More here

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Mar 16 – Mar 21 @ TBA – My Own Private Idaho(Ruth Sokolof, 1340 Mike Fahey Street, Omaha, NE) / x
Mar 31 @ 12:00 – Running on Empty (Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368) / X

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Remembering River is an unofficial non-profit fan site. We claims no ownership to any material seen on this website and is used, to the best of our knowledge, under the “Fair Use” copyright laws. This is just my tribute to the sadly missed actor.