MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO
1991. US. 104 min. Directed by Gus Van Sant. 35mm!
After almost two decades of writing and revisions, Gus Van Sant shared the screenplay of MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO with Keanu Reeves, who then drove his motorcycle from Canada to Florida in order to hand-deliver the script to River Phoenix. Both actors would go on to star in this landmark film of the New Queer Cinema. The film follows Mike Waters (Phoenix), a narcoleptic street hustler, and his best friend Scott (Reeves) as they journey from Idaho to Italy in search of connection and personal discovery. For tonight’s presenter, award-winning queer theater artist and resident playwright at New Dramatists Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, seeing the film for the first time was transformative. Deen writes, “It opened my mind both to how stories were told, as well as to what stories were told. I can remember vividly the final image of the fish swimming up river, and just staring at it trying to process what I had just seen, knowing I had been moved profoundly by something, and at the same time, not really sure what had happened to me.” Screening on 35mm, this iconic queer adventure movie is not to be missed!
As always, our screening will be followed by drinks and discussion at Julius Bar (159 West 10th St. at Waverly), the oldest gay bar in New York City!
MASHUQ MUSHTAQ DEEN
Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is an award-winning, queer theater artist and a resident playwright at New Dramatists (class of 2022). His newest production “Draw the Circle” performed at Mosaic Theater, and is forthcoming at Rattlestick and InterAct. He is a MacDowell Colony's Arch and Bruce Brown Fellow (2015-16), and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. About his work, Deen says, "I look at work with a queer lens, thinking about intersections of sexuality, gender, race, class, etc. I seek to confront inequalities of both power and dignity, challenging and complicating notions of right and wrong, of my side and your side, of self and other. I want to question assumed values, especially my own. I am particularly interested in the heroic journeys of the heart." Deen is also an activist in the LGBTQ community.
MASHUQ MUSTAQ DEEN ON MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO
"MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO was one of the first movies I saw which really blew my mind. It opened my mind to both how stories were told, as well as to what stories were told. I can remember vividly the final image of the fish swimming up river, and just staring at it trying to process what I had just seen, knowing I had been moved profoundly by something, and at the same time, not really sure what had happened to me."