River Returns

Published on January 31st, 2013

River-Phoenix-in-dark-blood

Actor and musician River Phoenix died from drug-induced heart failure in 1993. Only 23 years old, Phoenix had delivered intense, emotional performances in movies like Stand By Me, Running on Empty, Dogfight and My Own Private Idaho, and he was working on a film called Dark Blood when he passed away. That film will finally make its U.S. premiere at the Miami Film Festival during the first ten days of March. I mentioned this on Coincidence Control Network months ago and wanted to keep everybody updated.

This BlackBook post fills in the details:

As heartbreaking as the all too short life is, his legacy will be revived this year at the Miami International Film Festival when director George Sluizer debuts Phoenix’s the final film. When Phoenix passed away in 1993, Sluizer’s Dark Blood was 80% completed, and the unfinished footage disappeared into a vault somewhere. But in 1999, when he learned that the remains would be burned “to make space,” Sluizer brought the film to the Netherlands. After a decade of stillness, Dark Blood was finally completed last year, premiering to a standing ovation at the Dutch Film Festival.

Check out this trailer for Dark Blood. What’s your favorite River Phoenix film?

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Read a synopsis of the new film at Joe Nolan’s Insomnia.

Stay Awake!


About Joe Nolan

Joe Nolan is a critic, columnist, singer/songwriter and sometime NPR contributor. He can be heard every week on SittingNow's CCN podcast. Joe thinks coffee is a sacrament. Joe thinks surreal is the new black.

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