A Matt Dillon interview by the AP’s Jake Coyle ran on 2.21, and of course — naturally! — the piece manages to refer to Dillon’s City of Ghosts, his directorial debut that I saw and quite admired in March of ’03, in terms of its financial failure instead of how atmospherically pungent and dramatically haunting it was as a film. I described it thusly: “A guy on the lam, a sense of existential flotation, an exotic Southeast Asian locale full of offbeat eccentrics, a running away from one’s self only to be faced with a final ethical reckoning — yup, this is Joseph Conrad territory, all right. Dillon has said repeatedly that the screenplay he wrote with Barry Gifford (Lost Highway, Wild at Heart) was inspired by Conrad’s novels (‘Heart of Darkness’, ‘Lord Jim’). They seem to have taken special inspiration from Carol Reed‘s Outcast of the Islands (1952), another Conrad adaptation in which Trevor Howard gave one of his finest performances as a Jimmy Cremming-like character hiding out in a South Seas paradise, a refugee from a morally compromised past. If this sort of film rings your bell, if you liked Phillip Noyce‘s The Quiet American (which Ghosts resembles in certain ways, particularly regarding Jim Denault’s cinematography, which is in the same league as Chris Doyle‘s), if you love Outcast and that whole ball of wax, City of Ghosts will in no way feel like a burn, and may even get to you like it did me.”