Teenage Wasteland

Over the Edge (1979), Matt Dillon, etc

I’m not sure how I didn’t get around to seeing Over the Edge until now. (Holy crap, the whole movie is posted on Youtube in 10 parts!) I was totally in this movie’s target demographic at the time it was made. My family Christmas card in 1977 shows me wearing a Yes belt buckle just like the lead’s Boston belt buckle. I was angry, I hated the ‘burbs, and I was making the transition from Yes, Neil Young, Heart, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Aerosmith to The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and X. Even though the film got bad distribution (fear of teen violence), I understand it was an HBO staple through the late 80s and 90s. Hm, I still don’t have cable.

Matt Dillon was incredibly lucky to be plucked out of high school for this, his first movie. I never took him seriously as an actor until Factotum, because he pretty much plays himself (or else his personal meld of Rocky Balboa and The Fonz as the filmmakers put it). While he doesn’t actually say the line, “I’m Richie White — I’m on probation” has always been Dillon’s core film persona. The other one is the Drugstore Cowboy/barfly which isn’t that different.
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The Genius of the Crowd

Matt Dillon nailed Charles Bukowski in the movie Factotum. He never smiles and got the cadence just right. Someone should cast him again in another Bukowski / Chinaski novel turned movie. Mickey Rourke missed in Barfly.

There’s a man playing a lonely trumpet outside. I turn on WNYC and listen to the talk radio people go on and on about the G20 potentates on parade. Saturday Night Live will do something clever with this.