May 26, 2006

Cannes. A Scanner Darkly.

A Scanner Darkly "'Darkly' is right," writes Peter Bradshaw. "Everything about this movie from director Richard Linklater is murky, mysterious and confusing - but intriguing and often weirdly gripping, too. It is playing in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, and is certainly a lot more interesting than Linklater's other film here at Cannes, in the main competition - the anti-burger drama Fast Food Nation."

"[T]here is nothing animated about this animated feature," growls the Hollywood Reporter's Duane Byrge. A Scanner Darkly [site] "is static. Scene after scene of verbose fiddle-faddle: Characters orate at each other, while sitting in cars, sitting at dining tables, sitting in living rooms, sitting at office desks. The film might be better titled 'The Big Sit.'"

Updated through 5/27.

Time Out's Geoff Andrew finds it "so verbose as to be somewhat dull and soporific."

Variety's Justin Chang: "Though it shares some obvious chromosomes with Waking Life, Scanner's dystopian tale is light years removed in temperament from the earlier film, whose delirious verbiage and constantly mutating palette radiated a sense of boundless optimism and possibility."

Earlier: robbiefreeling at Reverse Shot, still highly recommended.

Update: Over at Time's site, Richard Corliss praises Linklater for underlining "the similarities of two decades marked by governmental snooping into its citizens' business and brains: the 70s, when the Nixon White House amassed a long Enemies List and used the FBI and its own resources to get dirt on suspected troublemakers, and our own, when anyone's telephone chats and email messages are in danger of winding up in a printout on the desk of a National Security Agency cybersleuth."

Update, 5/27: Salon's Andrew O'Hehir: "On one hand, Scanner Darkly is a paranoid futuristic thriller, but on the other it's a pitch-perfect portrait of life in deadbeat slackerdom and Linklater's funniest, loosest movie in years."

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Posted by dwhudson at May 26, 2006 2:53 AM


I'm assuming that the 'stunt casting' (hiring famous Hollywood drug users and one famous Hollywood pseudo-intellectual/philosopher to play drug users and pseudo intellectuals/philosophers) was done intentionally. What I'm having trouble understanding is...well, what's the intention? Is it simply a wink-wink, nudge-nudge thing? Because whatever shock there was to be had there seems to have passed after the first press release.

Posted by: Ju-osh at May 26, 2006 11:01 AM

Stunt casting? With such a "braintaking" comment you couldn't even compete in the pseudo category.

Posted by: Josuah at May 26, 2006 2:52 PM

So you're saying it was just coincidental?

Posted by: Ju-osh at May 29, 2006 11:06 AM