Director: Gus Van Sant

104 mins, USA, 1991, Digital

This film screened 18th June 2016.

A key film in the New Queer Cinema movement of the early ‘90s, and a landmark of American independent filmmaking, My Own Private Idaho is in part based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts 1 & 2. Van Sant fuses the story of disaffected young gay hustler Mike (River Phoenix), who suffers from narcolepsy, with that of rich kid Scott (Keanu Reeves), who is idling away the time until his 21st birthday and the sizeable inheritance that will come with it, a character specifically based on Shakespeare’s Prince Hal. The boys’ paths cross in the wide-open spaces of the Pacific Northwest, Italy and back again. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)


This film is screening as part of our Shakespeare Lives season June 8th – 30th.

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