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Exclusive: Gus Van Sant & Todd Haynes Discuss Impact of My Own Private Idaho 

Exclusive: Gus Van Sant & Todd Haynes Discuss Impact of My Own Private Idaho

my own private idaho

With the release of the My Own Private Idaho Blu-ray, the directors discuss New Queer Cinema and more in this exclusive clip.


It's tenderness that fuels the sexuality in My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant's beloved 1991 movie about Mike, a gay narcoleptic street hustler (River Phoenix), who is desperately in love with his best friend, Scott (Keanu Reeves) -- which also happens to be a savvy, queer retelling of Shakespeare's Henry IV. It all begins with Phoenix receiving a blowjob in the opening scene, and here two of the directors who defined what was called the New Queer Cinema -- Van Sant and Todd Haynes -- discuss the film in original commentary available on the Criterion Collection's new Blu-ray release (pre-order here).

We lost the talent of Phoenix too soon, and many younger audiences may not recall that this is how Reeves was introduced to many viewers before he became a blockbuster marquee name, so it's always essential to go back to this early masterpiece for repeat viewings. It's unforgettable when Mike confesses to Scott : "I want to kiss you, man," and the two cuddle up by a campfire together, and the scene clearly paved the way for Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. It's the realistic portrayal of platonic, symbiotic intimacy between the two men, however, that will stick with the viewer forever.

The new Criterion Collection Blu-ray is available Oct. 6. Watch the exclusive clip below:

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