Across The Way Thread #15864
The truth behind the words
Created ByPietro
Created DateSun, Apr 04, 2004
Created Time04:30PM GMT

Pietro4/4/2004 4:30:01 PM
Scott4/4/2004 4:40:01 PM
califtom4/4/2004 5:40:00 PM
Brad!4/4/2004 9:40:00 PM
Alison4/5/2004 6:50:01 AM
Helene4/5/2004 3:30:01 PM
Pietro4/5/2004 4:30:01 PM
Pietro4/5/2004 6:10:01 PM
Brad!4/6/2004 2:50:01 AM
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AuthorMessage #32504
PietroSubjectThe truth behind the words
PostedSun, Apr 04, 2004 04:30PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Hi all riverfriends,

There’s something I wanted to talk about, and I hope to receive also
your opinions. The first time I saw River was in 1993 or maybe 1994.
I was 11 years old when I watched “Stand By Me”. I loved it, and
couldn’t forget it. But I didn’t hear of River till January 2002,
when I read an article about him. One year later I watched “Stand By
Me” for the second time (after 9 years). It really impressed me
again, but I was sad about River. Not only because i knew he was
gone, but also because that article talked about him as a person
without ideals, dead because of drugs. But when I looked at the
photo (1986) on the magazine, his face seemed so innocent, so pure.
Next to it there was another picture of him in the last years. A
picture I really don’t like, it just doesn’t look like him. I was
convinced he wasn’t good person. But then I found some web sites,
and Across The Way too, and I found out that he wasn’t like that! So
my life changed. But I don’t like the way the writer talked about
him in this article. First, because he let me think something wrong.
And second, because everyone who will read it may think it is true.
The things he has said and the pictures he has put (like he wants to
make a comparison), let me believe that he DOES want people to
believe it. I tried to translate it for you, so you can read it:

From: Ciak n. 1, January 2002.
“That cursed Stand By Me” by Adam Smith (Empire/Ciak)

-After talking about “Stand By Me” as a cult movie, its story, and
its success, the writer describes the “drammatic” (as he says)
stories of the young actors.

RIVER PHOENIX (Chris Chambers)
“Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.”
It’s an ironic affirmation for one who’s shooting a film about the
lost of innocence, moreover Phoenix would lose his in different
ways. He discovers sex right during the shooting of Stand By Me, in
a tent made behind his hippie parents’ caravan. And in this same
set, according to what said by Corey Feldman, he uses drugs for the
first time. A change believed to be impossible for one like him, who
had a strong image of a “healthy boy”. But this is just one of the
several times in which his pubblic life wouldn’t meet his private
life. Peter Weir, who directed him in The Mosquito Coast, remembers
that he saw him more than once hiding drinking a lot of Coca-cola
and eating a lot of Mars, just him who loved to side publicly
against the major multinational companies.
Truth is that in the eight years passed between “Stand By Me” and
his tragic death caused by an overdose of a cocktail of heroin and
cocaine on the footway on front of The Viper Room Club in Los
Angeles, River was figuring to be the real great talent of the 80’s.
As confirmed by the nomination to the Oscar for “Running On Empty”
(1988) and the enthusiasm of the critics for “My Own Private Idaho”
(1991) (-in Italy: “Handsome And Cursed”), a title which summarizes
perfectly the cursed generation of River and company, from Johnny
Depp to Keanu Reeves. Right after the release of the film by Gus Van
Sant, a voice is spreading about Phoenix testing not just the sexual
experiences of a young boy who prostitutes, but also heroin. (A
little time before, though, a drug seller called Rick Rojas had
declared to the scandalous reports that he was the first one to sell
to River in 1989, his first “hole”: “He couldn’t inject it by
himself, so I took his arm, put the needle in the right vein and
go”). If these rumors were true, then they would explain his
artistic collapse on the eve of the death. His last finished film
is “The Thing Called Love” by Peter Bogdanovich, and the Sunday
Times made the situation worse, one of its critics writes: “Phoenix
seems mostly drunk or dull, he doesn’t show a shadow of the talent
he has accustomed us to”.
When his worried friends talked to him about his increasing use of
drugs, Phoenix replies disenchanted “Life is too short to not be
lived till the end. I don’t want to die old in a hospice. I’ll be
the most beautiful boy in the obitory”. On Halloween night in 1993,
23 years old River injects a “Belushi” (that’s the name of the
cocktail of heroin and cocaine that leaded the famous actor to the
grave). He dies less than an hour later.

Here’s another italian article. It isn’t much different, but there’s
something better, and I’ll tell you what I think it is.

From: “The great Hollywood” Vol.2 (Ciak)
“Alcohol, theft and drug. The new rebels.”

There are celebreties whose life has been broken by the abuse of
drug and others who have become more human after an arrest or a
trial, or a night in cell. Between the most recent myths, killed by
drugs, one of the cult icons is the actor and musician River
Phoenix. Born in 1970 from missionary parents of the “Children of
God”, River Jude Phoenix imposed himself to people when he was still
a child, starring in Explorers (1985) and Stand By Me (1986). On
October the 31st 1993, he died for a heart stop caused by a drug
overdose, he was only 23 years old. He was in Los Angeles, outside
the Viper Room night club of his friend Johnny Depp, and he
suddently collapsed on the floor, just like his extraordinary Mike,
the narcotic boy of the cult movie My Own Private Idaho (1991). He
didn’t raise anymore.
(Here follow the stories of Ted Demme, Nick Nolte and other

Here it talks of him like a great actor, and nothing about his many
battles for earth saving, and the wise messages he has left. But at
least here River doesn’t look like a boy who gave up to all the
temptations of the world, and wasn’t able to do something good. I
think the journalist who wrote this article (I’m sorry, I couldn’t
find his or her name), knows that these kind of things happen in
Hollywood. It’s a very hard world, full of pressures... So “drug”
killed River.
Many people just can’t understand how frustrating it can be when you
have conscience of all the wrong things in the world, and you wish
to make it a better place, but you know your whole life won’t be
enough. And River was an actor, and a musician too, and he had also
to find the strenght to be himself! How can anyone think it is an
easy thing to do? I’m sure that if I ask these people “What do River
Phoenix and Martin L. King have in common?” they wouldn’t be able to
answer me. I’d say: “they both were killed from the same things
they were trying to defeat”. This is what I think. And I will always
defend this idea.

I'll look forward to your opinions.


P.s. Thanks Scott for the support!
AuthorMessage #32505
ScottSubjectRe: The truth behind the words
PostedSun, Apr 04, 2004 04:40PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Anytime Pietro!

Thanks sooo much for sharing this article, your our River
correspondant from Italy so we love to hear all the articles about
him from Italy

We here will help you defend too


A prayer for the wild at heart in cages
AuthorMessage #32510
califtomSubjectRe: The truth behind the words
PostedSun, Apr 04, 2004 05:40PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Hi Pietro,
Thanks for your input, and welcome to Across The Way. River was a
beautiful person with progressive ideas who cared more about others
than himself. In the end it was probably his downfall. Unfortunately,
there will always be those who misunderstand and write or say
negative things. We have a horrible rightwing radio talk show host
here in the states named Rush Limbaugh that said some terrible things
about both River and his family just days after his death. He
referred to the Phoenix family as "a bunch of hippies" and basically
said "who cares?" about River's passing while chastising him for drug
use. Funny thing is, Mr. Limbaugh recently checked himself into rehab
for syntheic heroine addiction and is now under criminal
investigation for illegal prescription drug possession and
solicitation. He was also fired from a sports t.v. broadcast for
making racist comments. great guy huh?

AuthorMessage #32518
Brad!SubjectRe: The truth behind the words
PostedSun, Apr 04, 2004 09:40PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Hi Pietro, I think I remember you from last year. There is
something in the intensity behind your post that is familiar.
Pretty sure we might have met before in here.

Not sure if I got what you want me to pay attention to in this post
yet tho?

Is this the issue? That you know in your heart that River was
a "good" person. But in the media he is portrayed like some
superficial and sort of foolish and bad guy?


> Hi all riverfriends,
> There’s something I wanted to talk about, and I hope to receive
also your opinions. The first time I saw River was in>
> I'll look forward to your opinions.
> Pietro

AuthorMessage #32530
AlisonSubjectRe: The truth behind the words
PostedMon, Apr 05, 2004 06:50AM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Dear Pietro,

Thanks for the post. Very thought provoking. I guess some people
will do anything to sell a newspaper, a story or whatever. We all
know the truth behind River. And no, he was no choir boy, but who
is? The truth is, however, he did far more good than harm. And look
at us - 10 years later - still influenced so very much by him and his
ideals. I also really like your "they were both killed by things
they were trying to defeat"
Take care,
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