When I was around six years old, this and Three Amigos were my favorite movies. I think this combination was integral to the formation of my personality – goth-lite, with some idiotic 14-year-old boy humor thrown in. I used to get nightmares from just about any movie as a kid but for some reason this one didn’t bother me.
Keanu Reeves is smoking hot in this. He looks so good as a hessian. I want to buy him. Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper are perfect in this too. I love that Dystopia features clips from the movie in their album Human = Garbage. It’s difficult to sample movie clips in music and not have it sound stupid but Dystopia managed to pull it off.
I sort of used River’s Edge as an emotional talisman when I was writing Black Cloud – I wanted to make something that was running-full-speed-toward-a-brick-wall level numb. Out of the Blue functions in the same way, I think. (It also stars Dennis Hopper.) I think these movies encapsulate why I don’t understand the youth of today. There’s no unadulterated rage in their hearts.
No Direction Home
When I was ~24, I was in an inadvisable relationship. Our favorite thing to do was sit around and take synthetic opiates and drink wine and watch every single rock doc we could find on Netflix. It sort of mirrored my freshman and sophomore years in high school, where I liked sitting around and smoking weed and reading every rock biography they carried at Barnes & Noble. This is my favorite rock doc of that time, or, at the very least, is the one I watched most often. The funny thing is I can’t really remember anything about the movie, other than the fact that I found it really soothing.
I don’t even know if I really like this movie so much as I enjoy its aesthetic. I’m not really into acts of violence or psychological trauma, but other than that I want to live in a world that looks like this.
I just watched this movie for the first time a couple nights ago so I guess I’m technically cheating by including it. But I really loved it! Grace Kelly saves the day, and Katy Jurado is the one who put her up to it – the two women are the true heroes. You could take the movie apart and say that it is problematic – how predictable it is that the blond is the chaste Quaker while Jurado plays the part of the slutty Mexican woman – and I agree, but I like that it is clear that the women end up being the heroes not for some political reason, like “Hey you know what we need to do? Create some strong female leads,” which makes it feel genuinely subversive. Attempts at social equality are never subversive when done as a marketing scheme.
Juliet Escoria is the author of Black Cloud (CCM/Emily Books, 2014) and Witch Hunt (Lazy Fascist, 2016).