Friday, October 31, 2014

On This Day In...1993

Actor River Phoenix died of a heroin overdose at the age of 23 on this day in 1993. The star of films such as My Own Private Idaho, Stand By MeThe Mosquito Coast, River's acting career began at the age of 10 after a turbulent early childhood thanks to his parents' involvement in the religious/sex cult Children of God. In addition to acting Phoenix was a vegan, an animal rights, an environmental activist, and a dedicated musician whose "little hippie" band Aleka's Attic released a handful of songs on various soundtracks and benefit albums.

Key Library Checkouts:

The Thing Called Love - This was the last film Phoenix completed and it is actually pretty hard to watch knowing of his drug problems. River mumbles through his lines with his head down and eyes half shut as if his character has EV-D68. Making matters worse, the film's story of young musicians trying to make it in Nashville provides material that almost any young actor trying to make it in Hollywood could just crush; it barely even requires acting. Sandra Bullock especially stands out as the character with the most spunk but the least talent.

Last Night at the Viper Room by Gavin Edwards - Published last year, twenty years after River's death, this biography is comprehensive, well written, and compassionate. A definite must read for Phoenix fans.

Posted by Grahm Underwood, Library Clerk