Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Richard Linklater says plenty about now in his long awaited adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1977 novel about government surveillance, fractured identity and dope-fuelled paranoia. Direct from Cannes.
“A rotoscope animation in the mode of Linklater’s culty Waking Life – that is, a perversely hypnotic blend of cartoon and live action – this is adapted from Philip K. Dick’s novel and features a delightful cast as a household of drug-addled Southern California lowlifes. Keanu Reeves is the brooding special agent in a shape-shifter suit, assigned to spy on his own friends; Robert Downey Jr is the more-than-slightly-sinister (and hilarious) alpha male know-it-all; Woody Harrelson is the Lebowski-esque goofball; and Winona Ryder is the cute chick with a secret (or several, as things turn out). 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.” — Andrew O’Hehir, salon.com
“This is going to sound like an American cliché, but despite everything that’s fucked-up about the US, I feel kind of optimistic in some abstract-ass way. At some point in the future, hopefully, we’ll look back and not be able to believe what a rough time it was. That’s actually what Dick was saying in the 70s, but it resonates today. The characters of A Scanner Darkly are fighting their own war against this big, oppressive, quasi-governmental corporation. There are no bad guys in [the] movie – it’s just the world we’re living in.” — Richard Linklater, Village Voice
“Not just the best Philip K. Dick adaptation since Total Recall, but an adaptation that brings quite a lot to the original.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice