Dark Blood trailer

Over twenty years after his death, River Phoenix‘s final film is finally getting a release. Dark Blood, directed by George Sluizer, has just been scooped up by Lionsgate for VOD distribution in the near future.

The thriller follows Boy (Phoenix), who leads an isolated life in the desert. When a vacationing couple (Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis) come asking for help after their car breaks down near his home, Boy develops an unhealthy relationship with the wife. Watch the Dark Blood trailer after the jump.

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Earlier this week, the first footage from Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master caught the excited attention of the cinephile universe, especially those who’d been eager to see Joaquin Phoenix return to form after his bizarre foray into whatever I’m Still Here was supposed to be. But incredibly, Joaquin may not be the only Phoenix brother slated to make a long-awaited return to the movie theater.

Last fall, director George Sluizer told press he was working on finally finishing and releasing Dark Blood, the drama that Joaquin’s older brother River Phoenix was working on when he died of a drug overdose outside Los Angeles’ Viper Room nightclub in 1993. Now, in an effort to raise money for post-production, Sluizer has released a trailer that includes never-before-seen footage of the film, along with a personal explanation of why he finally decided to pick up the project again after all these years. Watch both after the jump.

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Yesterday director George Sluizer claimed that he would soon finish and release his film Dark Blood, which was originally in production in 1993. The movie starred River Phoenix, and was shooting at the time of the young actor’s unfortunate death in LA. The movie halted there, and little has been heard of it in the nearly twenty years since.

So there was a ripple of surprise and excitement yesterday when Sluizer claimed that he would finally finish and release the film, and that he had the blessing of the Phoenix family. The director’s idea was to possibly enlist Joaquin Phoenix to provide voice-over in character as the role played by his late brother. Trouble is, the Phoenix family now says it has not talked to the director, and isn’t interested in working with him at all. Read More »

Eighteen years after his death, River Phoenix is about to appear onscreen one last time. George Sluizer, who was directing Phoenix in his final role in Dark Blood at the time of Phoenix’s death, has announced that he will finally complete the picture for release in 2012. More details after the jump.

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On August 8, 1986 director Rob Reiner began an incredible five film run by releasing a seemingly simple adaptation of a Stephen King novella called The Body. Reiner’s film was called Stand By Me and starred River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell as four young friends who, in 1959, set out on a journey to see a dead body. After initially opening in limited release, the film expanded a few weeks later and became a box office hit, raking in just over $50 million.

As a young boy, though, none of that was important. What was important is when I finally saw Stand By Me, I was at an impressionable enough age that Reiner’s film, so expertly crafted and filled with perfect dialogue and performances, taught me things my parents never would have thought of. I was schooled in the ways of Fifties pop music. I learned what a leech was. I learned how to use “dodge” as verb and I learned how many you got for flinching. What was, on the surface, a seemingly simple adaptation was obviously much more than that and has stood the test of time.

After the jump, read fifteen silly and serious things Stand By Me still teaches us 25 years after its initial release. Read More »

Not only is James Franco attached to seemingly every single movie that’s currently in development, not only is he attending school, not only is he hosting the Oscars and not only is he a Best Actor nominee for his work in 127 Hours, Franco has a new art exhibition opening in Los Angeles this week. And it’s a doozy.

Unfinished is an exhibition featuring work by Franco and director Gus Van Sant that will be open at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills from February 26-April 9. It features two films, Endless Idaho and My Own Private River, which Franco edited from unused footage from Van Sant’s film 1991 My Own Private Idaho. Endless Idaho is a 12 hour (yes, you read that right) look at the making of Van Sant’s film while My Own Private River is a portrait of the late, great actor River Phoenix, who starred in Van Sant’s original film. Read more about the films and the exhibition after the break. Read More »

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