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A Scanner Darkly in our magazines

THE MOVIE: A Scanner Darkly

Keanu Reeves • Robert Downey Jr • Woody Harrelson • Winona Ryder • Rory Cochrane
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater

Rotoscoped! THE CONCEPT:
Based on Science Fiction author Philip K Dick’s own experiences, the movie is set seven years from now and tells the darkly comedic, caustic and tragic tale of drug use in the modern world, playing like a graphic novel come to life, using the animation process ‘interpolated rotoscoping’.

U.S. RELEASE: July 7 2006, Limited • Rated: R


“Philip K Dick tells great stories. I think I relate to the situations that I find his characters in. I love his writing. He’s wickedly funny, he’s got brutal irony. I like the context of his stories of people in situations that all of a sudden are not what they seem. His stories tell about the fight of the individual against forces beyond their control. People are angry, people are needy, people are greedy, people are scared, and I find I relate to the worlds that he writes about.”

RICHARD LINKLATER on weather the actors, knowing their performances were going to be animated acted bigger than in a live-action film:
“Woody, Downey and Rory I think did because of their characters. I think they pushed them a little bit, but that didn’t really have that much to do with the animation, it had more to do with their characters, who were a little more tweaked out.”

“It’s one of the most complex, layered, unusual and challenging pieces of literature that I’ve ever read – both the book and Richard’s adaptation. The script, which really captured the feeling of the book, is almost impossible to describe. To me, it’s ultimately about identity – loss of identity, search for identity – but there are so many different levels.”

“[I felt the rotoscoping technique] worked here because Philip K. Dick is always asking, ‘What is reality?’ And I think this technique puts your brain in the right place to take in this particular story because it seems real, it sounds real, you recognize these people, their gestures are real and seem like the real world, but it’s not. It’s this painted world, so it’s probably the right kind of split brain thing going on in your head as you watch it that, hopefully, you take it in just like a movie and you care about the people in the same way, if not more than you would in live action.”

“Something like 70% of your life you’re either on camera or being documented in terms of your transactions. What does that do? What do you become? Who’s wielding the camera? What are they doing with the information? It does make you wonder.”

“To me it’s really eerie how relevant the movie is politically and socially. I thought Philip K Dick was really on the money when he wrote it; it’s amazing what he predicted. I think it’s a terrifying time right now in this country and in the world.”

“It’s funny, Philip K Dick 30 years ago writing this he was kind of a crackpot from the margins, paranoid, conspiracy, that plus a generation equals reality today.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Warner Independent Pictures
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #672, July 2006 cover

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