a scanner darkly

philip k dick was a tragic figure who made art out of his pain

richard linklater is a film maker who manages to straddle both the mainstream (‘school of rock’) and indie (‘before sunrise’) scenes

keanu reeves is an actor who rarely succeeds on his own, but when he’s in the right context, he does things that no one else can

‘a scanner darkly’ is a superb film about the divided self, the fearsome power of drug misuse, the encroachments of the state, the uses and abuses of personal freedom, and the life of the mind

it’s the first film i’ve seen this year that i immediately wanted to see again


6 responses to “a scanner darkly

  1. Existential Punk

    Sounds fabulous – i’ll definitely have to check it out! Glad to hear you had a fabulous time at Greenbelt! i hope to m ake it some year. Adele

  2. was that what Scanner was about? It was the first movie I’ve seen this year where I fell asleep through the second act. I loved Waking Life, though.

  3. you know, this movie was visually stunning, but i was left wanting a bit with the story. in retrospect, i felt there were a few huge holes in the story. of course, it could be that i missed a couple of the main points. i would really like to read Phillip Dick’s novel, as i’m sure the holes i felt present in the movie are filled in.

    i’m glad you’re blogging. i read your book ‘How Movies Helped Save my Soul’ a few years ago and i really appreciated it. it made me feel like i’m not wasting my time using film to exhibit truths in life. thanks man.

  4. David Williamson

    There was a great article in the Guardian yonks ago about how a girl arrived doing door-to-door ministry. He took a look at her ichthus necklace and became convinced he was a member of a secret early church community and the material world was a nefarious illusion designed to stifle true Christianity. Or something like that.

    Brilliant film. The New York Times said last week that Winona Ryder is one a very small number of “stars” whose presence can actually diminish a movie’s box office take. Piffle! In this flick she redefines the concept of luminous beauty. If I ran a high-end department story she could shopping there anytime she liked…

  5. When watching this film, you must pay very careful attention or you could easily be lost. After seeing it with a friend, we discussed the film for hours trying to make sense of it. I loved it as i was watching it, but being able to process through the deep levels of information with someone made me enjoy the film even more.

    I fully agree with your assesment. Robert Downy Jr. was great, and your statement about Keanu is spot on.

  6. Alan in Belfast

    Love the blog … but I’ve got to disagree with your take on A Scanner Darkly.

    In my opinion … it was awful. A cross between sleep-inducing and headache-inducing – and that’s only the graphics, never mind the plot.

    If the story hadn’t had the rotoscope gimmick, I’m not sure the plot would have been carried by normal footage.

    But Little Miss Sunshine looks promising …