Our writers picked their peaks of cinematic sadness and you responded with animated elephants, Christmas melancholy and emotional reunions. Spoilers ahead

Running on Empty
The end of Running on Empty when Judd Hirsch realises he needs to let River Phoenix have a better life than being constantly on the run and tells him to cycle off to his grandparents. It’s about that point where you have to leave an old life behind. The tragically early death of River Phoenix makes it even more poignant.

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26 May @ 20:30 – Running on Empty [NFT2]
30 May @ 20:40 – Running on Empty [NFT2]
Website: here



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



Who were your early idols or role models? As contemporaries were concerned, I thought River Phoenix was a really great actor. I always looked up to Tom Hanks too; he was kind of an everyman who didn’t need to be the hyper-romantic lothario lead to be successful. I certainly didn’t feel like the lothario at a chubby prepubescent 13, so I looked up to him a lot and his career choices.

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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



Tuesday marks the 24th anniversary of River Phoenix’s untimely death on Oct. 31, 1993. The actor was just 23 when he died outside the Viper Room in West Hollywood due to a drug overdose, but made his mark on the world after starring in beloved films Stand By Me (1986), Running on Empty (1988) and My Own Private Idaho (1991). His final film, Dark Blood, was completed in 2012. In Phoenix’s honor, we’re taking a look back at his quick rise to fame and the best work of the gone-but-never-forgotten star. Read More // here



New gallery additions in the magazine scans section including the following…

Details (November 1991)
Young Americans Issue 1-3
Just 17
People (15 November 1993)
Premiere (January 2001 / March 2004)

Various film related articles in the “Film Articles” category.

Check out the gallery!



We have an awesome new layout from monicandesign.com



Former teen idol and child actor River Phoenix would have been 47 years old today. Drug use tragically cut short Phoenix’s promising film career, which ended with his death in 1993. He died just as he seemed to be entering his prime. Read More here



BFI, LONDON
16 Sep @ 20:45 – Stand By Me (NFT1)
30 Sep @ 15:45 – Stand By Me (NFT2)
22 Sep @ 18:15 – Stand By Me (NFT2)
Official Website: // here

PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA, LONDON
01 Sep @ 9:00pm – Stand By Me
Official Website: // here

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events/screenings

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.