This year will see the inaugural edition of the North Bend Film Fest in North Bend, WA, which was once the original shooting location for David Lynch’s iconic television series Twin Peaks. From August 23 through 26, the town, located just outside of Seattle, will host a film festival that sees genre fare from around the world. Confirmed today is the full line-up, which will see the fest bring festival darlings such as Anna and the Apocalypse, Don’t Leave Home, and Braid to the screen.

My Own Private Idaho (1991)
Set in the 1990’s runaway-dominated streets of the Pacific Northwest and loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV, this seminal film by Gus Van Sant (GOOD WILL HUNTING, MILK) tells the tale of a narcoleptic street kid named Mike (River Phoenix) who befriends a fellow hustler (Keanu Reeves) on his journey to find his estranged mother. Film presented in collaboration with Three Dollar Bill Cinema

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My Own Private Idaho is the sort of film that really shouldn’t work. The movie apparently came about when writer/director Gus Van Sant was working on three separate scripts and then decided to merge them all together. The result is a movie that ought to be a mess. The tone and story jump about, some of its pretty random and surreal, and its Shakespearean pretentions are a bit bizarre. However, it works. These disparate elements and tones come together, helped by an astonishing performance by River Phoenix as young hustler Mike. His character – an outsider living a marginal and disintegrating existence – is a reflection of the film itself. It ultimately becomes an unexpected masterclass of montage – where by placing seemingly disparate things side-by-side and throwing in unexpected imagery (not least the famous falling barn), it creates something unique and pulls you into a character and world in a way few other films have ever managed. Read More here



Three LGBT themed films to run at the Belcourt: My Own Private Idaho
This Gus Van Sant classic, released in 1991, is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Mike Waters (River Phoenix) is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike’s estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant. Special showing at midnight on February 9. Read More here // Official Website: here



As the passage of time marches on and on, it gets more and more surprising looking back at just how old some of our favourite films are. Following on from our list of classic games that turn 25 this year, we thought we’d dust off the VHS collection to bring you some of the best films celebrating their quarter of a century anniversary in 2016. Be warned, you’ll probably feel ten times older by the end of it all…
My Own Private Idaho: Gus Van Sant is one of cinema’s premier alternative directors, and this 1991 effort is about as close to the mainstream as he’s going to get (when he’s not directing Good Will Hunting). Starring Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix as male hustlers facing very different futures, it’s an interesting watch. Read More: // here



My Own Private Idaho was the film that showed both Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix were capable of multitudes. Everyone knew that Phoenix was someone special, but Reeves was known for playing stoner types, while here he stretched. Phoenix stars as Mike Waters, a gay prostitute who suffers from narcolepsy, which leads him to fall asleep at inopportune times. He’s best friends with Scott Favor (Reeves), who also tricks but comes from a rich family, and is slumming as a way to be a prodigal son. They’re both friends with Bob Pidgeon (William Richert), who is Falstaff to Scott’s King Henry – literally, as the film is based on the works of William Shakespeare. Eventually the two quest to find Mike’s missing mom, and though Scott is only gay for pay, Mike has feelings for Scott he can’t ignore. Read More: // here



Some filmmakers are remarkably consistent, hitting roughly the same section of the dartboard every time, whether it’s right near the bullseye or way out by the perimeter. Others, like Gus Van Sant, are more erratic, equally likely to produce a triumph or a disaster. For every Drugstore Cowboy and To Die For in Van Sant’s filmography, there’s an Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and a Restless; when he unexpectedly hit mainstream pay dirt with Good Will Hunting (as a director for hire), he immediately squandered that capital by remaking Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho with Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche. Even when signs look good, things can turn ugly—his most recent film, The Sea Of Trees, was selected to play in Competition at Cannes, but wound up receiving such brutal reviews there that it may have singlehandedly ended the McConaissance.
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It’s tenderness that fuels the sexuality in My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant’s beloved 1991 movie about Mike, a gay narcoleptic street hustler (River Phoenix), who is desperately in love with his best friend, Scott (Keanu Reeves) — which also happens to be a savvy, queer retelling of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. It all begins with Phoenix receiving a blowjob in the opening scene, and here two of the directors who defined what was called the New Queer Cinema — Van Sant and Todd Haynes — discuss the film in original commentary available on the Criterion Collection’s new Blu-ray release. Read More: // here



The Northwest Film Center’s “Essential Gus Van Sant (& His Influences)” opens April 23 with “Mala Noche,” his first feature, paired with Andy Warhol’s “My Hustler.” The movies are introduced by Mario Falsetto, author of the new book “Conversations with Van Sant,” who will teach an eight-session course on Van Sant that begins April 25.
“My Own Private Idaho”: “If I had a normal family, and a good upbringing, then I would have been a well-adjusted person,” says River Phoenix, an eerie line given where he came from. Phoenix in “My Own Private Idaho” is like James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause,” burning right through everything around him. 7 p.m. May 7. Read More: [Continue]

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