Thursday August 24, 2017

Author explores how Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho brought the marginal into the mainstream

Jen Sookfong Lee is the author of Gentlemen of the Shade, a book about the film My Own Private Idaho.

Jen Sookfong Lee is the author of Gentlemen of the Shade, a book about the film My Own Private Idaho. (ECW Press )

Listen 8:29

Gus Van Sant's film My Own Private Idaho was an indelible part of '90s pop culture. It's a story about Mike and Scott, two young hustlers on a journey to find Mike's mom. They were played by then-teen heartthrobs River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves.

The film dealt with ideas about sex and gender that were far ahead of their time.

Author Jen Sookfong Lee was 15 at the time and the film had an effect on her. Lee has written a book about My Private Idaho called Gentlemen of the Shade.

The Vancouver author talks to q about why she wrote the book.

— Produced by Elaine Chau