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I went to see "A Scanner Darkly" this evening, and blow me if that wasn't a depressing film. It's about a group of drug users in California and their increasing paranoia as they get increasingly dependent on the drugs they're using.

In the film I'm wisely informed that they "cartoonified" live action and that's part of the reason why I went to see the film. It was clever, but I have to admit it irritated me after a while (especially a uniform they used to hide the identity of policemen). Combining this with a so-so ending to the film and the fact I get irritated with anyone using more than alcohol and a little weed and it probably isn't surprising that I'm feeling a little bit blah-ish toward the film.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 25th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
I've not seen the movie, but I'm curious as to if you've ever read anything by Philip K. Dick, whose book of the same title was the inspiration for the film.

I'm going to assume not (and, if you have read his work, then just ignore the rest of this) and just throw in a little info here. Philip K. Dick had a history of losing friends to drugs, so he was quite adamantly against drug use. He has quite a few writings that, though maybe not as overtly anti-drug as A Scanner Darkly, have hints of his opinions throughout.

I have to wonder if someone like myself would enjoy the film more than any other film watcher simply because I'm such a big fan of Philip K. Dick's and see it as an homage to his work.

Also, I've been wondering if the "cartoon-ification" (heh) will get on my nerves when I actually see the film. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.
Aug. 25th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
To be honest, I don't know much about Philip K. Dick at all. I think I was put off by the film Blade Runner, which was visually impressive but left me feeling kind of depressed.

Don't get me wrong, films with an ending that's too uplifting just flat out irritate me too, but I most enjoy films where there's some 'hope of redemption' if the characters are prepared to move in that direction (as long as it isn't too Hollywoodized).

Given that everyone raves about him and in the main I like Science Fiction, is there a book of his you'd recommend?
Aug. 25th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
I'm not sure what, of his, to recommend, because he doesn't exactly write things that have happy endings.

Try this -- www.philipkdick.com is wonderfully organized so that you can see a complete, chronological listing of his novels and short stories and read a short synopsis of each. That might help.

Also, I think I like his work because quite a few of his pieces are about dystopic societies (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Lies, Inc., and his short story "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Tick-Tock Man"), which I have kind of an obsession for reading about. I took a class in college on Utopian and Dystopian Literature, so you can see that anything in that area (especially things post-apocalpytic) fascinates me. I don't know why. Just a sick obsession, I guess. =)
Aug. 25th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that. That class you took sounds... fun.

By the way, it's not that I like "happy endings," it's more that I just flat out don't believe in (or want) overly positive or overly negative endings to films. Life's not like that.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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