river viper

‘’In the 1990s, River taught a generation of young actors that there could be a different approach, one that placed greater value on artistic integrity and personal politics. Even today, when a young performer advocates for environmentalism or vegetarianism, it’s a ghostly echo of River’s life. His absence got filled by other performers - Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, his own brother Joaquin. Looking at them, we can see the ectoplasmic outline of what sort of man River might have become - and looking at thim, we can better understand the world he left behind.’’

[Excerpt from ‘Last Night At The Viper Room’ by Gavin Edwards].

‘’River’s long-standing dream was to use his money to buy land and set up a sanctuary for damaged children, ‘’all sort of homeless kids and kids from foster homes or kids who have been in and out of mental institutions.’’
He envisioned a farm, so the children could help grow their own food, also populated by stray cats and dogs. ‘’The kids would be assigned to an animal of their own and they would have this cycle of caring for something. The farm would have solar panels and be self-sufficient. It wouldn’t be isolated because it would be a whole community in itself. There would be room for individual expression and creativity. It would be really wonderful.’’

Fairly transparently, River was describing his idealized version of childhood. If he felt that he hadn’t been protected in his own youth, he didn’t want to wallow in self-pity: he tried to convert that feeling into charity.’’

[Excerpt from Last Night At The Viper Room by Gavin Edwards.]

“Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on.”

- River Phoenix

On this day, October 31st 1993, 23 years ago, River Phoenix left us. 

‘’You struggled for peace, lived for love. You were committed to changing this world of suffering for humans and animals. You carried so much weight for your whole life. Never condemmed, never denied a soul. I know you found direction around a corner. (…) If only the whole world, everyone on planet Earth, had your spirit and consciousness.’’

[Grafitti outside the Viper Room in River’s honor.]