HEAVY MIDNITES: My Own Private Idaho (presented by Xiu Xiu)

Xiu Xiu are a longtime favorite band around here, a unique blend of post-punk heartache and experimental ideals — so we’re excited that frontman Jamie Stewart is stopping by in the midst of a national tour, to present a film that’s deeply influenced his life and music. Gus Van Sant’s poetic 1991 road movie is truly affecting, traveling a sad, lonely and visually stunning path that beautifully evokes a state of drifting need and passionate longing. River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star as young hustlers: Mike, a sensitive narcoleptic dreaming of the mother that abandoned him, and Scott, the wayward son of a rich family and the object of Mike’s desire. Navigating a volatile world of junkies, thieves and johns, they take a dreamy quest from the grungy streets to the open highways in search of home. But, don’t fear, it’s not a total downer; Udo Kier even sings and dances with a lamp. A pioneering American work filled with stylized flair, surreal imagery, Shakespeare references and two seriously sexy leads exploring their abilities, My Own Private Idaho helped take New Queer Cinema mainstream, cemented Phoenix’s legacy and still leaves an impact on everyone that watches it.
Dir. Gus Van Sant, 1991, 35mm, 104 min.

Watch the trailer for “My Own Private Idaho”!
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