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See James Franco Recut His Own My Own Private Idaho

"Many filmmakers would consider the discarded material worthless," Franco writes in The Paris Review, "but I, as an actor who has spent fifteen years in front of the camera, consider all of it valuable. They are the essence of my art. [ ... ] Sometimes — as when they feature an actor like River Phoenix in a film like My Own Private Idaho, the best of his generation giving his best performance — every scrap is gold. [ ... ] When I heard that Gus [Van Sant] had held onto the editor’s film rolls, I told him that I would do anything to see them. We spent two days in Portland watching as much as we could. [ ... ] We were naturally led to wonder what Idaho would be like if he made the film now, and Gus offered to let me make my own cut. [ ... ] I cut it as if Gus had made it today."

[Paris Review]