A Scanner Darkly

   Haven’t heard much about this film, which is not surprising, I guess, but finally I have seen the Phil Dick movie I’ve waited almost thirty years for: faithful to the original – not only in plot, but also in aesthetic. Finally someone had the guts to do phildickian sf the way Dick himself did. Linklater shows us no hovercraft, no leather trench coats, no cyberpunk chic, just the beat up cars, trashed yards, and lost souls of suburban California. Dick created landscapes that look like the future we have, unlike a cartoon like Bladerunner, which still looks like, well, an old movie. Keanu Reeves, for all his past portrayals of cyberpunk heroes, gets it exactly right here,  playing a classic Dick character – cop investigating himself while his identity unravels – as neither Cruise nor Ford had, or perhaps even bothered to seek the awareness to do. Probably better for their matinee-idol careers that they did not try.

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4 thoughts on “A Scanner Darkly

  1. Michael Ehart says:

    Now when do we get a film version of Ubik, or Man in the High Castle?

  2. Mike says:

    That would be awesome indeed, Michael. I know that Dick himself once wrote a screenplay for Ubik for a planned french production. Nothing came of it though.

  3. I have been waiting for this to come out since they covered it in wired. I’m glad to know from a solid source that it’s worthwhile.

    Is there a point to go to a theatre or would dvd be OK? Theatres are expensive, hard to get to, and filled with annoying people. I was thinking that the matrix audience would come here and I’d have to sit through bitching and moaning like “fucking fly”, “kill someone, bitch”, and “this is the lamest shit I ever seen.”

  4. Mike says:

    I’d say it would stand up pretty well, and might even work better on TV. It is beautiful to look at, but it is a kind of beauty that can be appreciated on any size screen I think. The film moves pretty slow in parts, and the audience I saw it with got antsy.

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