Saturday, May 4, 2013

This May Only Be A Dream

Click>Drugstore Cowboy OST
Drugstore Cowboy, released in the fall of 1989, was the first film that really cast a spell on me, making me realize just how much the medium could effect me, it's one of those films where you feel like you are still in the world depicted after you leave theatre, it has that kind of magic. And it has remained a favorite of mine, one that I can re-watch endlessly and always enjoy and find new details in- like Diane shoplifting a paperback of Love Story in the pharmacy in the beginning which we later see her reading in other scenes.  Music plays an important role in the film both the diegetic pop tunes and the atmospheric score by Elliot Goldenthal, creating a mood that lulls you into the opiatic dreamworld that the film's main characters occupy.

Everything in the movie works perfectly; beautifully shot in Portland Oregon by DP Robert Yeoman (an unusual, for film, color palette of greens and browns), with a tightly rendered script that is based on  James Fogle's autobiographical novel, the film is perfectly cast, with Matt Dillon playing the defining role of his career, and a great and varied supporting cast - especially Max Perlich, James Remar and William Burroughs.

The film has had such an effect on me that I still find myself quoting from it, lines like- "there's nothing more life affirming than getting the shit kicked out of you", "yes I'm alone what you think i brought my rat faced granny along with me to hold my hand", "hell you know how whimsical women are she found another guy to chase and off she went", "you guys been reading too much Mickey Spillane or something" or even "why do you want to do that goddamned speed, you know how ringy it makes you".  I love the scene where Diane tries to seduce Bob by dancing to Jackie De Shannon's "Put A Little Love in Your Heart" and he, wired on speed, reacts tight jawed with alarm and uncomfortableness. And I still to this day think twice about putting a hat on a bed due to Bob's superstition.

The soundtrack appears to be out of print which is why I am posting it here. The special edition DVD released by Artisan in 1999 is surprisingly nice for a DVD from the late 90's, a decent transfer, with a lively commentary from Gus Van Sant and Matt Dillon and a making of documentary.  Still I hope that Criterion eventually gets their hands on the film, they have been knocking things out of the park of late with their recent editions of Badlands and Repo Man. Some favorite clips follow, and the admittedly odd trailer, not sure what's up with the background music in that, its not in the film. Click underneath the main photo on top to download zip file of the soundtrack and watch out for the TV babies.  Enjoy!

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