Cinema: Speak Up, We Can't Hear You

Speak Up, We Can't Hear You

Gus Van Sant adores characters who are literally too sensitive for words. This recommends his work to the serious younger audience, which tends to mime its discontents by striking sullen poses. But it is not a useful attribute for a maker of sound movies. Neither is Van Sant's disdain for narrative. He got away with Drugstore Cowboy because its band of drugged-out dodoes were engaged in a petty crime spree that almost passed for a plot. But My Own Private Idaho is a different story. Or rather nonstory, in which a pair of homosexual hustlers (River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves) search...

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