July 15, 2006
More on A Scanner Darkly.Director Richard Linklater, as smart and mercurial a moviemaker as is working today, has shown a capacity for callow bumper-sticker politicizing," Nick Pinkerton reminds us at Stop Smiling. "It's a relief, then, to see that his murky Scanner Darkly isn't revamped as an 'as relevant now as ever' frontal strike on surveillance culture, the Bush II American Empire, or any such popular arthouse piņatas. It's a far thornier, more engaged thing... It is unpretty, it is exhausting in its yammering, yes, but the very fact of its putting forth a vision of a future that's scented with bongwater, revolving around the axis of a sloppy living room, is enough to recommend it beyond whatever splendidly expensive bauble is being trotted out in multiplexes next Friday after next Friday ad infinitum." For Caveh Zahedi, "the spirituality is not the ersatz spirituality of a Blade Runner or Total Recall or Paycheck, but the imminent and lived spirituality of ordinary existence." "Reality obfuscates as the film proceeds," writes MS Smith, "but therein lies the achievement; as in life, when things fail to make sense, they become more ominous, while the differences between right and wrong become compromised." Updated through 7/20. "Thank heaven it was Linklater who finally made the film," writes C Jerry Kutner at Bright Lights. "The result is the most faithful adaptation of any PKD novel or story filmed to date." Like the Telegraph's SF Said, Kutner considers past adaptations while, at Screengrab, Gabriel Mckee imagines the Philip K Dick movies that might have been. Slate's Dana Stevens: "'Let's hear it for the vague blur.' It's a line lifted from Philip K Dick's novel of transmuting identities, but it's also the perfect motto for Keanu Reeves' film career." John Patterson in the Guardian: "If you're making a serious movie about drugs, it doesn't hurt to assemble a cast that knows whereof it collectively speaks." Pointing to Joshua Jabcuga's 2003 piece for what was then Movie Poop Shoot, Rex Sorgatz reminds us that Charlie Kaufman once wrote a screenplay based on the novel as well. And the PKD android is still missing; Steve Ramos has an update for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Online viewing tip. AICN's Merrick has found the first 24 minutes of the movie at IGN. Update, 7/16: "[T]he 'look and feel' of the rotoscope technique is itself the real meaning of the film." Steven Shaviro has a very fine entry on this "great film." Update, 7/17: Mike Russell has worked his interview into a comic that's appeared in the Boston Globe and the Oregonian, and what's more, he's added a few links to that entry as well. Update, 7/20: Daniel Kasman: "What is odd, and in the end, disappointing, about Linklater's animating of his film is that while Arctor is continually told he is going insane, the natural fluidity and before-your-eyes malleable possibilities of the film world are almost never used to express this mind state."
Posted by dwhudson at July 15, 2006 9:15 AM