The gorgeous, dreamy misfits of Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho could just as easily have sprung from his low-budget debut, in which gay liquor store clerk Walt (Tim Streeter) coaxes the object of his unrequited love, illegal Mexican immigrant Johnny (Doug Cooeyate), and his pals into an uneasy friendship. Based on poet Walt Curtis’ autobiographical novella, it’s strikingly shot in monochrome amid the shabby tenements and streets of Portland’s skid row. (The Spanish title aptly translates as Bad Night). Loosely episodic, it drifts between incidents like the Mexican boys who aimlessly come and go. Events are seen through Walt’s eyes, his gentle good nature contrasting with the lads’ wily mistrust. But harassment by the authorities and Walt’s proffering of cash and comforts for sexual favours spurs a sympathy-swing towards the desperate immigrants.