BERLIN — Dark Blood, the decades-in-the-making film featuring the last on-screen performance of late actor River Phoenix will have its international premiere at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.
Phoenix died suddenly during the shooting of the psychological thriller from Dutch director George Sluizer (The Vanishing) in 1993. Sluizer kept the footage and was finally able to finish the film last year. In it, Phoenix plays Boy, a young man living in the desert of a nuclear testing site who rescues and then holds hostage a Hollywood jet-set couple (Judy Davis and Jonathan Pryce) whose car breaks down nearby.
Dark Blood premiered at the Dutch Film Festival last September, but its out-of-competition screening in Berlin will be its international bow. Phoenix’s family, including brother Joaquin Phoenix, continues to distance itself from the film.
Also scoring an out-of-competition slot in Berlin this year are Richard Linklater’s Sundance title Before Midnight, the third film in the romantic series starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy; Billie August’s literary adaptation Night Train to Lisbon, featuring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Laurent and Jack Huston – which will have its world premiere in Berlin – and Prince Avalanche, a comedy featuring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirch, which will also be traveling to Berlin after its debut in Park City.
Four more world premieres complete the 2013 Berlin competition lineup: Vic+Flo Saw a Bear from Canadian filmmaker Denis Cote; Malgoska Szumowska’s In The Name Of; Harmony Lessons, a debut feature from first-timer Emir Baigazin; and A Long and Happy Life, the latest from Russian filmmaker Boris Khlebnikov (Koktebel).
The 63rd Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 7-17.