It’s Matt Dillon Double Feature Day on IFC! Hooray! Everyone bake up a batch of “Rumble Fish” cookies, pour yourself some “Singles” punch and settle in to watch “City of Ghosts”, which was written and directed by Mr. Dillon himself.
The 2002 film stars James Caan as Marvin the con man who fled to Southeast Asia to escape the prying eyes of the FBI who are onto his wily ways. Matt Dillon is his co-conspirator, Jimmy, who pursues his former mentor to Thailand and then Cambodia in hopes of getting paid for his part in an elaborate insurance scam. When Jimmy arrives in Cambodia, he starts to realize that Marvin is hatching a new scam. A scam much bigger than either of the men realize.
The film was made on location in Thailand and Cambodia and uses the lush scenery and startling beauty of the region as a backdrop for a dense intrigue as the two con men battle wits. Also, there’s a chick. And Gerard Depardieu as a nosy (no pun intended) barkeep. So get comfortable on your couch, watch the movie, and prepare to impress your friends with your knowledge of the lesser known works of Matt Dillon.
But wait, there’s more! Stick around on IFC to watch one of the most powerful drug deterrents ever. One thing is clear after watching Gus Van Sant’s breakout film “Drugstore Cowboy”: Drugs don’t pay. Nor are they glamorous, fun, or a good life choice.
The dark world of “Drugstore Cowboy” is inhabited by a loose-knit family of dopeheads who rob pharmacies to feed their drug habit. The bleak landscape of 1970s Portland, Oregon, is peppered with useless cops, corrupting priests, and teenage junkies. While that already sounds like a hellish world, it only gets worse when the gang’s leader tries to go straight and when the ominous presence of author William S. Burroughs appears on the screen.
Matt Dillon stars as the ersatz captain of a band of thieving users, which includes James LeGros and Heather Graham. When one of the young addicts overdoses, Dillon decides to try to get clean, but his efforts to turn his life around are stymied by some serious karmic debts.
The movie is the antithesis of glamour. It presents drug addiction in a reality so cold and stark it would have made Nancy Reagan proud. Say no to drugs, kids.
City of Ghosts airs at 8 p.m. and Drugstore Cowboy starts at 10 p.m.