Friday, July 01, 2005

Richard Linklater's adaptation of A Scanner Darkly

Just discovered a preview for Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, his adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel about drugs and disintegration. In it, an undercover narcotics agent with neural damage, due to the drugs he takes as part of his cover, is assigned to spy and report on his drug-dealing alter ego, which he does -- not realizing, because of said damage that he and his alter-ego are the same person. Dick spoke of this device as a way of expressing his ambivalence about drug culture -- a way of exploring two sides of himself. There's a good deal more to the story than that, but I'll leave the rest unmentioned. It's my favourite of Dick's novels -- the richest, most moving, most perfect of those that I've read, and it captures the drug melieu perfectly. The movie, alas, is not due out until next March...

Anyone looking for a good read is also directed to the recent Dick bio, I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick, by Emmanuel Carrere. I'm no expert on Dick, and can't really speak for the accuracy or insightfulness of the book, but I greatly enjoyed reading it, and felt like I understood Dick better for it.

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