Essential Gus Van Sant: MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO on 35mm

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Mike (River Phoenix) is a prostitute with narcolepsy—a handicap in any case, but especially when one’s profession involves letting your guard down in the presence of strangers. We see the world through Mike’s eyes, falling into slumber when he does, sharing the disjointed sense of time he feels and experiencing his confusion about where he is and how he got there. His only protector is his friend Scott (Keanu Reeves), another hustler, but one who is biding his time until his 21st birthday arrives and with it, a huge inheritance. They are an odd couple; Scott rejects his wealthy politician father, while Mike longs for the mother that abandoned him. The story’s parallels to “Henry IV” and the use of Elizabethan dialogue marks a high point in Van Sant’s examination of the hidden eloquence of the lives of the underprivileged on the streets of Portland. “Invigorating—written, directed, and acted with enormous insight and comic elan.”—Vincent Canby, The New York Times. (105 mins.)

MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO screens Thursday, May 7 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The program is being presented as part of our Essential Gus Van Sant (& His Influences) series.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

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