Watch A River Made to Drown In
- 1 hr 38 min
A River Made to Drown In is a 1997 drama film directed by James Merendino and starring Richard Chamberlain, Michael Imperioli, and Ute Lemper. The film follows the life of photographer Allen Hayden (Chamberlain), a wealthy and successful gay man who is struggling with his inner demons after the death of his partner. The story is set in the mid-1990s Los Angeles, where Allen leads a glamorous and hedonistic lifestyle, mingling with the high society, and indulging in drugs and anonymous sex. However, beneath the surface, he is troubled by the memories of his deceased partner, and haunted by his own sense of guilt and shame.
Despite his success as a photographer, Allen finds himself adrift and disconnected from his art, unable to capture the beauty and meaning of life. He becomes increasingly disillusioned and reckless, as his addiction to drugs and sex intensifies. His only solace is in the friendship of his young assistant, Lance (Imperioli), whom he treats as a protÃ©gÃ© and lover.
As Allen's emotional turmoil deepens, he begins to neglect his professional life, causing his clients to abandon him. He also becomes the target of a blackmail scheme by a male prostitute (played by James Duval), which brings his fragile life crashing down.
Throughout the film, Allen's inner world is contrasted with the seedy and dark underbelly of Los Angeles, as he navigates through the city's dangerous and nightmarish environments. The cinematography by Geno Salvatori captures the stark and gritty reality of the urban landscape, adding to the film's intense mood and atmosphere.
The performances by the lead actors are impressive, particularly Richard Chamberlain, whose portrayal of a tortured and conflicted artist is both convincing and poignant. Michael Imperioli delivers a strong performance as the loyal and devoted assistant, whose love for Allen is sincere but ultimately unfulfilling.
Ute Lemper shines as the mysterious and enigmatic circus performer who captures Allen's attention and imagination, and provides him with a brief glimpse of hope and redemption. Her seductive and haunting musical performances add an otherworldly element to the film, and reinforce its themes of art, beauty, and mortality.
A River Made to Drown In is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores the complexities of human desire, creativity, and spirituality. It is a raw and uncompromising portrait of a man who is struggling to find his place in a world that is constantly changing and challenging his convictions. Despite its dark and tragic subject matter, the film offers moments of genuine tenderness and beauty, as well as a compelling visual and emotional experience.