Across The Way Thread #23027
2007 Article - Why didn't River Phoenix become the James Dean of his generation?
Created ByPescado
Created DateWed, Apr 20, 2011
Created Time08:34PM GMT

UserDate
Pescado4/20/2011 8:34:13 PM
Pescado4/20/2011 11:06:10 PM
Spunky4/26/2011 3:33:31 PM
Pescado4/27/2011 4:25:43 AM
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AuthorMessage #70124
PescadoSubject2007 Article - Why didn't River Phoenix become the James Dean of his generation?
PostedWed, Apr 20, 2011 08:34PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Not sure if anyone had seen or discussed this one yet - Interesting discussion on River and his legacy in pop culture. It is nice they linked clips of River over time for context in the discussion; everything from the early audition stuff to specific short movie clips.

http://denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-didnt-river-phoenix-become-james.html
AuthorMessage #70127
PescadoSubjectRe: 2007 Article - Why didn't River Phoenix become the James Dean of his generat
PostedWed, Apr 20, 2011 11:06PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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Oh yeah - I was going to add - it is a cool perspective because it is written by the guy who covered River's obituary for SPIN magazine back in 1993.

AuthorMessage #70160
SpunkySubjectRe: 2007 Article - Why didn't River Phoenix become the James Dean of his generat
PostedTue, Apr 26, 2011 03:33PM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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My thought is that River Phoenix became the River Phoenix of his generation. He wasn't interested in James Dean the way James Dean was interested in his predecessors. He found his method instinctually and through self study (self taught) where as James Dean "decided" to pursue and study acting. Their stories, backgrounds, purpose, and careers were totally different, by design as much as circumstance. This is meant just as a contribution for discussion, not as a declaration of expertise on the matter.
AuthorMessage #70169
PescadoSubjectRe: 2007 Article - Why didn't River Phoenix become the James Dean of his generat
PostedWed, Apr 27, 2011 04:25AM GMTMethodWeb-Site
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I appreciate you sharing!

Ironically, I did not intend to start the discussion here, but instead just wanted to share an interesting perspective article. I searched to see if this topic had been covered before, to avoid redundant threads.

I'll throw my 2 cents in... but I am far from an expert as well.

While the whole comparison thing can be overused, I think the article brings up some good points. I am surprised he is not remembered more for his amazing talent, starting at such a young age.

I think River's message was ahead of its time; too complex and brave to "fit" into that "Hollywood Icon" mold. James Deans message was a lot simpler, at a simpler time. It's easy(er) for the public to relate to a general image that does not go too deep into various societal beliefs - like Deans image.

River's message was very brave - especially for it's time - meaning it was a lot less likely to be embraced by "the masses". To be vegan and speak against materialistic views in the 80's and early 90's was not very popular. Also, acceptance of minorities and discussion on alternative lifestyles such as homosexuality or protection of animals -- these topics were also considered a sort of "taboo" for celebrities. (animal rights being the earliest exception)

Lastly, I would say Dean enjoyed celebrity, while River seemed to grow disillusioned with it over time. It's kinda hard to make a Hollywood Icon out of a person who begins to loath the negative side of celebrity.

Interesting discussion!
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